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Devizes : 
Printed by George Simpson & Co., Devizes, Ltd. 

C O N T E N T S 


Katheryn of Berain. By John Ballinger. M.A., C.B.E. 

( With four portraitsj .. .. .. .. 1 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. By The Rev. E. Tyrrell- 

Green, M.A. ( With Illustrations, See List, p. 44) . . 43 

Iron-Work in the Teifi Valley. By The Rev. E. Tyrell- 

Green, M.A. (Withnine IllustrationsJ .. .. lls 

The Importance and Yalue of Local Records: The Dolgelley 

Parish Registers. By T. P. Ellis, M.A. . . . . 135 

Note on Welsh Local Records. By E. Vincent Evans. 

C.H., LL.D. .. .. .. .131 

A Scottish Surgeon in Wales in the Seventeenth Century. By 

Miss M. Foljambe Hall, F.R.Hist.S. . . . . 188 

Two Welsh Heraldic Pedigrees, with Notes on Thomas 
Chaloner of Denbigh and Chester, Ulster King of Arms. 
By W. J. Hemp, F.S.A. (Pedigree and four IllustrationsJ 207 

Notes on the Arms of Bishop Nicholas Robinson. Bj' W. J. 

Hemp, F.S.A. . . . . . . . . . . 226 

"Mamwys": Textual References. By T. P. Ellis, M.A. .. 230 

The "Mabinogion" ( Translatìon by T. P. Ellis M A. andJohn 
Lloyd, M.A.J A Review and a Criticism by Professor 
J. Lloyd-Jones, M.A. . . . . . . . . 251 

Editorìal Note, and a Response by the Translators . . 261 

The late Sir John Morris Jones, M.A., LL.D., D.Litt. An 

Appreciation by Professor J. Lloyd-Jones. M.A. . . 265 

The Editor welcomes the free expression in these 
pages of genuine opinions on any matters of interest 
relating to Wales its modern developments as well as 
its ancient history but disclaims responsibility alike 
for the opinions themselves, and for the manner in 
which they are expressed. 


To face p. /. 
Katheryn of Berain The Rhiwlas Portrait, circa 1555, 


Vol. XL. " Cared doeth yr encilion." 1929 

Üafflerjm of QË>er<rím 

A Study in North Wales Family History. 


For more than three centuries the story of Katheryn of 
Berain and her four husbands has been one of the chief 
romances of North Wales. The main outlines have been 
well-known, but the facts have been so over-laid with 
additions that the good name of the fair lady has suffered 
in consequence. 

Following the publication of the Calendar of Wynn (of 
Gicydir) Papers, in which Katheryn appears, the National 
Library of Wales obtained on loan, for its annual exhibi- 
tion in 1927, the four paintings reputed to be portraits of 
Katheryn. In this connection inquiries were made into the 
history of this remarkable lady, and it became clear that a 
reliable account of Katheryn's life has not been written. 
During these investigations the National Library came 
into possession of a group of papers presented by 
Viscount Combermere, who inherited Llewenni through 
the marriage of his ancestor, Sir Robert Cotton, with the 
Salusbury heiress of that house, a descendant of Katheryn 
by her first marriage with John Salusbury. These papers 
disclose details, especially dates, not previously available. 
During his years of exile in Brittany, before he came 
to the throne, Henry VII had, by a Breton lady, a natural 


2 Katheryn of Berain. 

son, Roland Velville, whom he knighted after coming to 

the throne. He made him constable of Beaumaris Castle, 

and settled on him his moiety of the Tudor property of 

Penmynydd in Anglesey, 1 with other lands in Pentraeth 

and Beaumaris. 

Eatheryn was the daughter of Tudur ap Robert Vychan 

of Berain in Denbighshire, by his wife, Jane Velville, the 

daughter of Sir Roland Velville. The line of descent is 

as follows : — 

Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond~~a Breton lady 
(Henry VII) 


Sir Roland Velville=Agnes Griffîth 

Grace Jane=Tudur ap Robert Vychan of Berain 

died unm. 

Katheryn of Berain 

Sir Roland Velville died in 1527 , five years before the 
marriage of his daughter Jane to Tudur ap Robert Vychan 
of Berain. 2 He bequeathed all his lands to his widow, and 
she in her turn left the property to her two daughters, 
Grace and Jane. It can be assumed that Grace Velville 
died unmarried, because ultimately the whole of the 
Penmynydd property devolved upon Katheryn, who was 
therefore not only of royal blood but well dowered. 

Of her girlhood nothing is known. Her mother died 
when she was still young, and her father married again. - '' 

1 The other moiety belonged to the Abbey of Conway. 

» The marriage settlement is dated 28 Hen. VIII (1532). 

3 His second wife was Margaret. daughter of Rees Wynn ap David 
Anwyl ap Ieuan ap Rees of Kinmel, and two sons at least were born 
of the second marriage. The will of Tudur ap Robert, Katheryn's 
father, was proved at St. Asaph in 1564. His second wife survived 
him and married again. 

Katheryn of Bei'ain. 3 

She is said to have been a ward of Queen Elizabeth. A 
pair of embroidered slippers and a pair of corsets, gifts 
from the Qneen, are still preserved. The slippers, kindly 
lent by Captain Williams Ellis, were exhibited with the 
portraits in 1927. 

That Elizabeth took an interest in Eatheryn is prob- 
ably correct, for she was partial to her Tudor relatives. 
The first portrait of Katheryn, the charming girl of about 
eighteen or twenty, may have been painted when Eatheryn 
was in London, possibly on a visit to, or under the wing 
of , the Princess Elizabeth. This is merely conjecture, but 
the dress and the jewellery in the portrait and the cjuality 
of the painting all support the theory. 

The First Marriage. 

More definite information is available when we come 
tò the marriage of Eatheryn with her first husband, John 
Salusbury, son and heir of Sir John Salusbury of Llew- 
enni, though there is some uncertainty as to the course of 
events in regard to the marriage. The settlement deed is 
dated llth February, 1556/7, when Katheryn was 22 years 
of age. The deed says " a marriage had and solemnized 
between John and Catherine Salusbury." In the settle- 
ment Sir John Salusbury covenants that the said John 
and Katheryn ' ' shall go together as husband and wife be- 
tween this and the feast of Christmas." The marriage 
' had and solemnized ' was probably a child marriage, 
which was to be consummated between the date of the 
deed and the next ensuing Christmas. There is said to be 
in existence a letter from John Salusbury while he was 
still at Westminster School, in which he mentions his 
wife. The letter has not been traced, nor the date of John 
Salusbury's birth. 

The married life of John and Katheryn Salusbury ex- 

b 2 

4 Katheryn of Berain. 

tended over nine years, and they had two surviving sons, 
Thomas and John. 

John Salusbury died in 1566, his father, Sir John, 
being still alive. The exact date of his death is uncertain. 
His will, dated May lOth, was admitted for probate on 
July 24th, but two documents, dated respectively June 
20th and July 12th, 1566, describe Katheryn as a widow, 
and two sons, Thomas and John, are mentioned. Both 
documents deal with the settlement of Katheryn's estates, 
which were vested in trustees for Thomas Salusbury, or, 
he failing, for his brother John. The date of John Salus- 
bury's death was therefore between May lOth, the date of 
his will, and June 20th, when his widow executed the first 
settlement. Both the documents just referred to appear 
to have the same effect, but they may refer to different 
properties — Berain and Penmynydd. The earlier deed, 
June 20th, is so decayed that the description of the pro- 
perty cannot be made out. 

A further document, dated 15th August, 1566, is a deed 
between Sir John Salusbury, Kt., and Katheryn Salus- 
bury, widow, ' late wife of John Salusbury, Esq., de- 
ceased." To fulfil a covenant in the indenture of July 
12th, they agreed to levy two fines at the next Great 
Sessions for Denbigh and Flint to secure the lands speci- 
fied to descend to Thomas Salusbury and to his heirs, with 
remainder to John Salusbury, brother of Thomas, etc. 

The Final Concord out of the Court of Great Sessions 
for Denbigh and Flint dealing with these indentures has 
not been found, but in view of subsequent events it may 
be assumed that it was issued, as was a corresponding 
document for the Anglesey estate, dated October 7th, 

It thus appears that immediately following the death 
of her first husband, Katheryn, who had bccome possessed 

Matheryn of Berain. 5 

of the Berain estate on the death of her father in 1564, 
proceeded to make a settlement of her properties on her 
two sons. 

These documents dispose of the theory that John, the 
younger son, was born in December or January following 
his father's death. 1 The theory is based on an inscription 
on a portrait of John Salusbury the younger quoted by 
Pennant, " 1591 aet. 24 ", and the entry of his matricula- 
tion at Jesus College, Oxford, November 24th, 1581, which 
gives his age as 14. John was probably an infant when 
his father died in May or June, 1566, but the mention of 
him in the will and in the documents of June and July, 
1566, cannot be set aside. He was married 18th Decem- 
ber, 1586, and his first child, a daughter, was baptized on 
October lOth, 1587 ; these dates to a limited extent con- 
firm the earlier date for his birth. The execution of his 
brother, which will be referred to later, may have hurried 
on his marriage, when he was a few months short of the 
age of twenty-one, and, owing to his brother's death, was 
the heir to Llewenni. 

In some pedigrees mention is made of a third child of 
John and Katheryn, a daughter, Elizabeth, who married 
Owen Brereton. She is not mentioned in the will, or in 
the documents just referred to. A careful investigation 
leaves no doubt that she was a daughter of Sir John Salus- 
bury, and therefore a sister of Katheryn's first husband. 
Several elegies on the death of Owen Brereton (1595) have 
been examined. These refer to his first wife, Elizabeth, 
by whom he had fourteen children, as the daughter of Sir 
John Salusbury, Chamberlain of North Wales, her chil- 
dren being referred to as grandchildren of the old Cham- 

1 Poems tnj Sir John Salusbiiry and Roòert Chester, wilh an intro- 
duction by Carleton Brown. London : H. Milford, Oxford University 
Press, 1914, p. xii. 

6 Katheryn of Berain. 

berlain. There are other references which make it clear 
that Elizabeth Brereton was the daughter of old Sir John. 
To the year 1566 belongs the well-known story of 
Katheryn and her two suitors, related by Thomas Pen- 
nant, who wrote : — 

The tradition goes that at the funeral of her beloved 
spouse she was led to church by Sir Richard Clough and from 
church by Morris Wynn, of Gwydir, who whispered to her his 
wish of being her second ; she refused him with great civility, 
informing him that she had accepted the proposals of Sir 
Richard, in her way to church : but assured him (and was as 
good as her word) that in case she performed the same sad 
duty (which she was then about) to the knight, he might 
depend on being her third. From this match I have the honor 
of some of Catherine's blood in my veins. As soon as she 
had composed this gentleman, to shew that she had no super- 
stition about the number THREE, she concluded with Edward 
Thelwal, of Plas y Ward. esq., departed this life August 27; 
and was interred at Llanyfydd on the lst of Ssptember, 
1591. * 

The story of " The wooer who came too late " is one 
of the merry jests in a collection printed some years be- 
fore Katheryn was born, and belongs to the group of tales 
and quick answers, very merry and pleasant to read, to be 
found in the literature of all countries. That it became 
localized and attached to Katheryn is not difficult to be- 
lieve, and Pennant may be excused for not knowing the 
source, as the little book of jests and merry tales in which 
it occurs was rare in his day. 

The story as applied to Katheryn has been dismissed 
as impossible on chronological grounds by Professor Carle- 
ton Brown, a careful writer. He says that Sir Richard 
Clough's wooing took place in the latter part of April, 
1567, when Katheryn had already been a widow eleven 
months, 2 and Dean Burgon makes a pretty story of the 

1 Pennant : Tours in Wales, 1810 edition, vol. ii, pp. 146-7. 

2 Poems of Sir John Salusbury and Robert Chester, p. xiv. 

Katheryn of Berain. 7 

hurried wooing and marriage within the short space of 
three weelcs. 1 

Sir Richard Clough lived mostly abroad, at Antwerp, 
where he was concerned in business for Sir Thomas 
Gresham, his partner. They were merchants on an exten- 
sive scale, and very wealthy. Much of the correspondence 
which passed between them is preseiwed in the Public 
Record Ofîìce, and is summarised in the Calendar of State 
Papers, Foreign, Elizabeth, 1566-68. 

A letter from Gresham, 4th April, 1566, to Sir Wm. 
Cecil says : — "I have written to my factor Clough to 
come home these hollydaies ". Here we have evidence 
that Clough came over from Antwerp about the time of 
John Salusbury's death, evidence confirmed by the ab- 
sence of any letters from him to Gresham until some 
months later, when the correspondence was resumed. 

Clough was at this time engaged in building operations 
at his house in Denbighshire, and almost certainly would 
visit his home. 

He may not have proposed to the widow on the occa- 
sion of her first husband's funeral, but it is probable that 
before he returned to Antwerp there was an understand- 
ing, which resulted in a marriage in the following year. 
If this surmise is correct it explains what happened. 

The Second Mareiage. 

Sir Richard Clough was in Antwerp up to about the 
middle of April, 1567, when he cam'e home. He was married 
to Katheryn, and was with her on a visit to Sir Thomas 
Gresham, in London, by the sixth of May. Katheryn's 
second m'arriage took place within a year of her first hus- 
band's death, but having regard to the extensive business 

1 Burgon : Life of Sir Thomas Gresham. 2 vols. 1839. Vol. ii, 
p. 211. 

8 Katheryn of Berain. 

engagements abroad of Sir Eichard Clough thereisnothing 
to complain about in her not waiting the full year. The 
disposal of the story of the posthumous child removes the 
implied reproach that she went oíf with the second hus- 
band leaving an infant of four or five months. The grand- 
parents, Sir John and Lady Salusbury, w T ere alive, and it 
is most likely that they took upon themselves the care and 
nurture of the young children left fatherless by the death 
of their eldest son. As related above, Katheryn had settled 
the estates of Berain and Penmynydd upon her Salus- 
bury sons immediately following her first husband's 

Sir Eichard Clough and his wife returned to Antwerp 
in May, 1567, and, after a visit to Spain, were back at 
Antwerp by July of the same year. They continued to 
reside there until May, 1569, when Clough made a visit to 
London, and sailed from there to Hamburg, where he re- 
sided until his death in the following year. The change of 
residence was due to troubles arising out of the disturbed 
condition of affairs in Flanders, which caused Clough 
much uneasiness. He was in constant communication 
with Cecil, and it is not unlikely that his removal from 
Antwerp was due to political troubles. 

A portrait of Katheryn was painted in 1568 by a 
Flemish artist, which Pennant described as " an excellent 
three-cjuarters on wood " ; one hand rests on a skull, a 
feature not unusual in portraits of that period. The other 
hand holds a casket attached to a girdle worn round the 
waist. Legend has it that this casket contained the ashes 
of Sir Eichard Clough, an absurd invention, as Sir Eichard 
was living when the picture was painted. It probably, as 
Pennant says, contained the hair of Sir Eichard. 

Two daughters were born to the Cloughs during their 
brief married life — Anne (1568), who became the wife 



To face />. <?. 
Katheryn of Berain The Llewesog Portrait, 1568. 

Katheryn of Berain. g 

of Roger Salusbury, and Mary (1569), who married 
William Wynn of Melai. 

The actual date of Clough's death is not known, but 
Dean Burgon 1 says it must have taken place between llth 
March and 19th July, 1570, and estimates Clough's age 
at about 40. Nor is the cause of his death known. A 
lingering sickness, two references in his letters to pains 
in the head, and sleeplessness, that is all. At the request 
of the municipal authorities of Hamburg, the Senate of 
Lubeck sent a skilled physician to see whether any aid was 
possible, but without avail. 

Second Widowhood. 

At the age of thirty-five Katheryn was a widow for the 
second time with four children, all of tender years. 

Sir Richard Clough and his partner (Sir Thomas Gres- 
ham) were reputed to be the richest men in England. 
Clough by his will provided handsomely for each of his 
two daughters and for his widow, and in addition gave his 
sons by a former union considerable wealth. 

Referring to Clough's hnighthood, Dean Burgon 
says : — 

I reserre for a subsequent page, ho\vever, what is dis- 
eoverable of his personal history ; there heing no evidenee, 
traditional or otherwise, of the events of his early life, except 
the indubitable fact that in the fervour of youthful zeal, he 
performed a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he was created 
a hnight of the Holy Sepulchre — " though not owning it," 
says Fuller, " on his return under Queen Elizabeth, who dis- 
dained her subjects should accept of such foraign honour." 
Pennant and other Welsh writers have, in consequence, styled 
him Sir Richard Clough, by whicli name he is known at this 
day among his descendants.- 

It may be assumed that Eatheryn left Hamburg soon 
after the death of her husband. That she was back in 

1 Life of Sir Thomas Gresham, vol. ii, p. 356. 
ä Ibid., vol. i, pp. 236-7. 

io Ratheryii of Berain. 

Wales by November, 1570, may be inferred from the 
agreement between William Clough of Denbigh, executor 
of the will of Eichard Clough, and Katheryn, and a deed 
of the same date, the schedule of which gives some idea of 
the wealth of which she was then possessed. 

After her return from Hamburg Katheryn resided at 
Berain, and engaged William Kynwal of Penmachno to 
compile a record of her family. Kynwal wrote in the 
same volume a large number of poems by himself and 
other poets extolling IÝatheryn, the Tudurs, the Salus- 
burys, Clough, and others connected with her. This 
volume is now in the library of Christ Church, Oxford. 

The pedigree traces Katheryn's descent through a long 
line of Welsh chieftains back to Brutus, w T ho is described 
as a great-grandson of the Trojan hero iEneas, and who, 
tradition states, came and settled in Britain. From 
irEneas the pedigree goes back through a long line of 
mythical persons, including the gods Jupiter and Saturn, 
until Biblical characters are reached in Japhet and Noah, 
and thence back to " Enoch son of Seth son of Adam son 
of God ". This grandiose production was in accord with 
the practice of the time in compiling pedigrees. 

The poems in the Christ Church MS. include two by 
Kynwal eulogising Clough and Katheryn, one proposing 
to send a hawk to express the longing felt in North Wales 
for their return, and the other a ship to bring them back. 
The elegies on Clough mention that his heart was brought 
home and buried in Whitchurch (the parish church of the 
town of Denbigh), and that Bachygraig was built with 
stones brought from Antwerp. It is suggested elsewhere 
that the building is of bricks imported from Holland or 
made in Denbighshire in the Dutch manner. 

Kynwal wrote a cywydd welcoming Katheryn home to 
Berain, and another urging her to marry again, but not 

Katheryn of Berain. 1 1 

to leave Berain if she does. The cywydd of welcome 
runs : — 

Kowydd i groessawu y meistres hatrin adref pann fu 
tuwnt Ir mor vaî y hair gwybod ivrth y howydd. 1 

Katrin law ruddwin roddiad, 

kares wyth lu kroesso ith wlad . . . 

[12 lines omittedj 
hwiliaist megis un helynt 
Elen rereh Goel lanfraich gynt 
honn a gerddodd henw gwirddoeth 
y mor ar tir ddyn ir ddoeth 
yno drwy nerth duw or nef 
or daith hydr y doeth adref 
ac val hynn gwiwvawl henwi 
wrth ystad yr aethost di 
gida'th wr mewn kyrl\vr kain 
gwir lendyd i Gaer Lundain 
o Lundain hardd riain hael 
ir Galais eurloer gulael 
a thrwy ffraingk winvaingk iownvawr 
hoff lowndres vodd i fflandrs fawr 
o frehant gwarant geirwir 
iawn tro pell i Andwarp hir 
ac ywch wedi gwych ydoedd 
yn yr yssbaen wrssib oedd 
yn Hambrw uffern henbryd 
o vewn dengmark bark y byd 
ing dic y rwng i deugwr 
ofer dim y bu farw dwr 
ac ir ystad at Grist wynn 
yr aeth ef wrth i ofyn 
a chwi a ddoeth eigr goeth gain 
i loegr yn ddyn weddw liwgain 
yno bu ywch yn unawr 
a gwiwras maith groessaw mawr 
ath glod aeth golud weithion 
or un sud drwy'r ynys honn 
oddyno yn ddianair 
orau dyn heb wyro d'air 
doetb ich ty'ch hun y fun faiu 
drwy fowredd i dre ferain . . . 

[16 lines omitted] 

1 Christ Church MS. 

i 2 Katheryn of Berain. 

adolwc bennes dalaur 
dyn loew wych dan wiail aur 
fry na ddos hael linos lan 
farn well o verain allan. 

Wiliam Kynwal. 

A letter 1 from John Vaughan of Gelly Aur to Katheryn 
shows that in 1571 she was still residing at Berain. The 
letter is unfortunately mutilated, and the month when it 
was written is missing, but April, 1571, is possible ; that 
would be less than a year after Clough's death. The letter 
is as follows : — 

Lovinge Cosyn after my righte hartie comendacones [I 
being] yet unaquaynted with you, have in the behaulf [of 
Walter] Vaughan my sone byn a suyter unto you by my 
ne[phew] hughe ap hughe, who repaired unto you and was 
[kindly] entertayned and wellcome, for the \x ch I yelde you 
[thanhs] nowe. If yt please you to comunycate or talke 
further [with us] in this matter, upon the good answer whiche 
I have [received] by him from you, Bothe I and my sónne 
will travaile u[pj ífor I have no other but him only to bestowe 
soche lyvinge [as] god hath sent me after my decesse wch shal 
be a T[housand] marcks by the yeare at the leaste. Beseach- 
inge you [to continue] yo r good will and forwardnes herin äs I 
understande [you] have begone, which by gods grace shall not 
on my [part] and my Sones be unaquitted And thus levinge 
all [. . .] to yo r good discresyon to be conferred w*h my Cosyn 
[hughe] ap hughe I comitt you to the governaunce, of 
[almighty] god. ffrom my howse at gelly oyre the vith daye 
[of April] 1571. 

Your assured Cosyn, 

John Yaughan. 
Addressed : — To his verie assured and lovinge Cosyn Mrs. 

katheryn Cloughe at Meren these be yeaven. 

Gelly Oyre (Gelly Aur) is probably the Carmarthen- 
shire seat of the Vaughans. There is a Gelly Aur in 
Flintshire, but this was the home of the Morgans. The 
spelling Oyre for Aur points to Carmarthenshire. That 
this is the correct interpretation is supported by the sen- 
tence in the letter " If yt please you to comunycate or 

1 Wynn Papers, No. 43. 

Katheryn of Berain. i 


talke further . . . Bothe I and my sonne will travaile 
u[p] ". 

The proposed suitor, Walter Vaughan, was the father 
of John Vaughan, first earl of Carbery, and William 
Vaughan, author of the Golden Grove Moralized and 
other well-known wor^s. 1 The proposal was no mean 
one, and shows that she was accounted a desirable lady. 
Katheryn, however, did not see fit to " talke further". 
It may be that she was already talking with Maurice 
Wynn of Gwydir, the belated suitor who was forestalled 
by Eichard Clough. 

The Third Marriage. 

The date of Katheryn's marriage with Maurice Wynn 
is not known, but it was before January, 1573. Wynn had 
buried two wives, and Katheryn two husbands. By this 
third marriage she became the step-mother of the famous 
Sir John W T ynn of Gwydir, the author of The History of 
the Gieydir Famiìy. 

There is a document among the Llewenni papers, 
dated 20th September, 1574, two years or thereabouts 
after Katheryn became the wife of Maurice Wynn, which 
throws an interesting side-light on the lady's matrimonial 

It is an agreement between Sir John Salusbury and 

his wife Lady Jane Salusbury, and Maurice Wynn for a 

marriage between one or other of Katheryn's sons by her 

first husband and Margaret, daughter of Maurice Wynn, 

or, she failing, any other of Wynn's daughters. Thomas 

Salusbury was about ten years of age when the agreement 

was made, and Margaret Wynn was about the same age 

or possibly younger ; she was Wynn's fourth child by his 

1 Walter Vaughan niarrierì (I) Mary, rìaughter of Gruffyrìrì Rys, by 
whom he had thirteen children, anrì (II) Letys, wirìow of Sirjohn 
Perrot, who bore liim two chilrìren. 

14 Ratheryn of Berain. 

first wife. They were, however, to be married before the 
Feast of the Annunciation next ensuing (i.e. 25th March, 
1575). It was a child marriage to be confirmed and con- 
summated later, with alternative provisions to ensure the 
union of the two families in the case of death on either 
side before the contemplated marriage was solemnized, 
or between solemnization and consummation. This is a 
most interesting document as it illustrates the way in 
which marriages were arranged in the sixteenth century. 
Another similar document in which Katheryn was con- 
cerned will be referred to later. 

This grand design was the realisation of the dreams 
of two women, Lady Jane Salusbury and her erstwhile 
daughter-in-law, Katheryn. The signing of the marriage 
agreement was followed by a great festive gathering at 
Gwydir, 1 recorded by Maurice Wynn in his book of memo- 
randa (a volume of 212 pages) 2 as follows : — 

8p die octobris a° 1574. 
The names of them that were present at the bargain made 
betwene me and Sir John Salusbury & at the delyvery of the 
money to M r Thomas Salusbury w th th'obligation the con- 
reances. &c. 

John Wyn ap Wm, esquier. 

Gruff Wynn, gent. 

Maurice Kyffyne, gent. 

John Lloyd, mercer. 

Edward ap Hughe. 

Owen ap S r John. 

John Mershe. 

Robert Kynrike, 

John Edwards, 



S r Jo. Salisburis men. 

John Hollis, 

W m ap S r John gruff. 

Davyd ap Thomas, John Wyn ap Wm's servant. 

1 The ohl Gwydir which still snrvives. The later house built by 
Sir John Wynn, 'the fairest house in all N. Wales", was ruined by 
two fires in 1922 and 1924 respectively. 

* N.L.W. Llanstephan MS. 179B. 

Katheryn of Berain. i 5 

It is somewhat curious that the guests at Gwydir in- 
cluded four described as " S r Jo. Salisburis men ", but 
neither Sir John nor Lady Salusbury. In view of what 
followed their absence is significant. 

This gay house-party was but the prelude to trouble 
and family bitterness. As already stated the marriage of 
these two children appears to have been arranged by 
Lady Jane Salusbury and her sometime daughter-in-law, 
Katheryn, who were believed to be able to enchant their 
respective husbands. Maurice Wynn, according to his son, 
Sir John Wynn, was not a strong personality, and was 
largely under the infiuence of Katheryn, and there are 
hints that he was not on the best of terms with some of his 
neighbours, nor, for a time at least. with Sir John Salus- 
bury. These strained relations were due to the prospective 
bridegroom, who later showed some reluctance to the 

The boy was at Gwydir when the great celebration 
feast took place, but later there seems to have been some 
feeling between Gwydir and Llewenni as to the place 
where he should reside, whether with his mother or with 
his grand-parents. Nor is it clear from the scanty 
evidence available whether the child marriage took place, 
as arranged by the great indenture, before the 25th March, 


A letter 1 from Katheryn to her stepson, John Wynn 
(afterwards Sir John), then a barrister in London, dis- 
closes that trouble had arisen with regard to the ward- 
ship of Thomas Salusbury, the heir to Llewenni. It is not 
necessary to enter into the details here. It is a long and 
intricate dispute in wbich the Earl of Leycester's connec- 
tion with North Wales, and heated controversies, are con- 

1 Wynn Papers, No. 83. 

i6 Ratheryn of Berain. 

cerned. 1 The letter, however, is evidence of the feuds and 

intrigues, and the high tension between leading families. 

As regards IỲatheryn the letter affords a side-light upon 

her domestic life, the most intimate piece of personal 

revelation available. She speaks of herself as a weak 

woman, foolish and fond, and appeals for the wise and 

discreet help of the future Sir John Wynn. The letter, 

dated February, 1576/7, is written on three pages, foolscap 

size, with the address on the fourth page, and appears to be 

in the hand of Thomas Brooke, the signature, " Katheryn 

Wynn ", being in her autograph. The first leaf is slightly 

defective, words are missing which in a few instances are 

conjecturally restored, and, where no such restoration has 

been made, are indicated by . . . , in each case enclosed 

in []. 

Good sonne my verey heartie coraendacons use[. . . these] 
are to signifie unto yo w that for revenge of ou[r enemies] I am 
nowe verey like to receave at my ffather [in law and his] 
brother m"" Salusburie and their ffrends han[ds such a] ffoyle 2 
(for your sake) as I shall neaver claw of 3 [unless] youre wis- 
dome and foresight be my shilde and [strength] in my greatest 
necessitie. for yow shall understand that a hynesman and 
late seruant of myne one whome yo w lcnowe Jeuan ap Thomas 
ap Kyn' by name havinge by great mishappe chaunsed to gyve 
a neighbour of his one william ap Ric a blowe with a stone, 
wherof it is inferred by his ffrends he shuld die, and by the 
synister and indirect practise and subborn acon of Jeuan Uoid 
ap d'd ap m'edd and William lloid his sonne, who havinge 
conspired with Piers holland a malicious and cruell enemye 

1 The rebitions of the Earl of Leycester with Nortli Wales offer a 
fruitful field for inquiry by a student of history. A passage in Ley- 
cester's Commonuealthrnns: — "The hatred of all that Countrey (i.e. 
North Wales), is so universall and vehement against my Lord : as I 
thinke never thing created by God. was so odious to that Nation, as 
the very uiime of my Lord of Leycester is. Which his Lordship, well 
knowing, I doubt not. but that he will take heed, how hee goe 
thither to dwell, or send thither his posterity". 

2 ffoyle = foil, a repulse, a disgrace, a stigma. O.E.D. 

3 claw of = to get rid of, get free from, O.E.D, 


The Wigfair Portrait, 

To faceỳ. 

Katheryn of Berain. 1 7 

to my howse from the begyninge have oaused my said Seruant 
to be indicted of willfull murther togeather with one Jeuan ap 
Tudr as accessarie, withowt any eridence or good mattr to 
induce the same, And tberupon my said Seruant upon hope of 
indifferencie and upon trust of his innocencye upon indifferent 
and good triall yelded him self to the lawe, beinge Imbowldned 
therunto by my said father in lawe. m r Salusburie of Rugge, 
M r Thomas Salusbury of Denbigh and the rest of that crewe, 
who then promysed to be his ffaithfull ffrends and ayders : and 
nowe havinge therby allured him into his enymies hands, and 
ledd him as a bear to the stake or as a lambe to the butchers 
stawle doe nowe not onelie leave, him destitute of all ayde, 
but allso ioygne them selfs w*h his aduersaries to his utter 
confucion the best they may, not onelie of them selfs but allso 
by procuringe the shirief and others to the same, in so muche 
as they haue caused m r ffowllke lloid and others my lords 
officrs to write unto my L. of leycesf to agravate mattrs 
againest him, takinge for their grounds that my L. is like 
to lose the benifite of their lands in excheate by [rea]son of 
some ffables by them contryved and [most] fawlslie insenced 
to my L. eares. wher in [ve]ry deede ther is noe such mattr 
intended one our [part]es but rafher of the other side, for 
if wee have [ou]r willes wee meane not to dishardge him of 
man slawghf, allthough the evidence will in troth prove but 
rnan slawghtr in his owne defence. And allthough the surgion 
will upon his othe verifie that the man died rather of gods 
vicitacon or for want of good keapinge then of the hurte, and 
allthough ther be many other circumstances to extenuate his 
offence, here to longe to be recited and one in especiall, for 
all the evidence and prouffs that be of all sides doe manifestlie 
prove and everie one doth prove and agree with the other 
that the man slayne, had upon him a good pike forke and a 
longe dagger and was a stronger lustier and better man then 
the other and that my kynesman and seruant had but onelie 
a dagger and that the other man dryve my kinesman backe to a 
hedge wher he ffound a stone undr his ffeete by chaunce and 
threw at the other wherby he might have oportunitie to flie 
further and so imediatlie fledde, and allthough the other man 
p'secuted him alonge myle never turned unto him but 
still fledd, all suche mattrs and suche other circumstancs 
as this bearer can instruct yo w of, such as yo w thinke 
will make with yo w . I am hereby heartelie to praie 
yo w to imparte to my good ffrende Sr John Hugh- 
band besechinge him of his comforte ayd and succore 
herein, either by dealinge with my L. in his excuse, or by 
writinge to m r Justice throkmorton in my mans favour, and 
procuringe my L. l'res to mf Justice if yo w thinke it needfull, 


18 Katheryn of Berain. 

but speciallie to make my L. conceave the mattr aright, and 
not to write againest him wherin yo w shall doe unto me a most 
acceptable pleasure and to yo r ffather and to yo' self [much] 
wor' and credicte, w<* if this man mis[carry in] the furst mattr 
of weight he deallt wi[th at] Conwey is like to be greatlie 
appalled [. . .] in denbigh shire. And my poore sonne a[nd 
your] brother in lawe litle Thome Salusburie [is filled] with 
great perplexitie for he poore ch[ild ha]th great care of him 
because he was his fathers man and myne, and one whome he 
tendrlie loveth. I am but a woman ffolishe and faunde. I 
can not direct yo w aright in this mattr, yo r father is not 
willinge to deale for some respects knowinge how litle affiaunce 
he hath in denbigh shire men, yo w are wise and Discreete and 
conversant with those that can instructe yow what is best to 
be done. I therfore require yo w to be ffaithfull and vigilant 
in this matter, otherwise the poore man shall Runne into 
utter Ruine, and I and myne imperpetuall obloquie and sclandr 
for ever, wherfor referringe all to yo r wisdome and fidelitie 
I ende wishinge yo wr wellfare in haste from Gwid r this xxiiijth 
of ffebruarie 1576. l 

Your loving mother 

Katheryn Wynn. 

I praie yo w write unto me yo r pleasure towching the books 

of the quartr Sessions and whither I may have them or 

not paiing yo u xx s for everie sessions. 

Thomas Broore. 
Addressed : — 

To my lovinge sonne John Wynne at the Inner Temple 

de. this in hast. 

What happened to the young man accused of murder 
is not on record. It is hoped that he had a fair trial, un- 
prejudiced by family feuds. If he can be identified as the 
same who witnessed a lease in March, 1581, he must have 
won free. 

Sir John Salusbury died about a year after the letter 
just quoted was written, the actual date of his death being 
18th March, 1577/8. 

His death left his grandson, still a minor, to the ward- 
ship of the Earl of Leycester, who had been chosen by 
Sir John Salusbury. The Wynns were alarmed, fearing 

' i.e. 1577, New Style. 

Kathervn of Berain. 19 

that Leycester would oppose the completion of the mar- 
riage of Thomas Salusbury and Margaret Wynn. These 
fears were groundless if we can accept Leycester's state- 
ment in the following letter 1 to Maurice Wynn, written 
five days after Sir John Salusbury's death. 

After my heartie comendaeons. with like thanks for yo r 
paynes taldnge to be presente at the hearinge of the cause 
wch those yo r countrey exclamators preferred to herre ma tie . 
Like as I doubte not but you are fullie satisfied in consience 
upon hearinge of the cause debated of the greate wronge they 
have offered me and herre matie« commissioners soe I hope yow 
will to the like contentacon satisfie the reste of yo 1 ffrends 
within yo r countrey whom I am sure they have allso therin 
greatlie abused. I trust I shall hensfurth finde yo u as yo r 
brother in lawe my verey ffrende the L. Chaunceler of Irelande 
hath assured me, and so doinge 1 will not be unmyndefull of 
requitall. And now m r Wynn I thought good to lette yo" 
understand that like as by the death of Sr John Salusburie 
the wardshippe of the boye is f aulen to me and in my custodie, 
so will I throughlie understande the boyes dispocition to the 
matche with yo r doughter, from the w c h I here he hathe utterlie 
dissented, and that if I see any likeliehoode yow shall finde me 
(the rather for yo r brother in lawes sake) ffrendelie therin. I am 
glade you have so good assurance for yo r money, for as the 
matche was made onelie to defraude me of the wardshippe, 
soe I can assure yo u it was not meante to be performed to 
you. for the recoverey of yo r money if yo u neede my ffrendshippe 
it shall not be wantinge. I praie yo u trie owte what dulie 
belongeth to the boye either in goods or lands and therof with 
the speede yo u can advertise me, wherupon yo u shall here 
further from me, I thinke I shall comytte some trust in the 
cause to yo u , w c h shall not be to yo r discomoditie. I praie 
yo u lette me here speedilie from yo u , and in the meane tyme 
fare ye heartelie well, from the courte the xxiijth of marche 
1577. 2 

Yor Lovinge ffrende 


Maurice W T ynn and Ratheryn were at Berain directly 
after Sir John Salusbury's death, and Wynn prepared a 
statement in the form of a letter to Sir William Gerard for 
the purpose of informing Leycester as to the position wîth 

1 Wynn Papers, No. 84. 2 i.e. 1578, New Style. 

c 2 


Ratheryn of Berain. 

regard to the marriage. This letter 1 must have crossed 
Leycester's letter (dated a few days earlier) reassuring 
Wynn as to the marriage. Maurice Wynn-'s letter throws 
a vivid light on the domestic drama then being played, 
and is therefore worth reproducing. 

After my verey heartie eomendacons to yo r good L. gyvinge 
the same to understande that upon my returne from worcester 
I repaired to the countrey to attende those affaires off my 1. 
comytted to me and others ther in chardge, by reason wherof 
I cold not repaire to S r John Salusburie albeit he sent for me 
diverse tymes untill hit was within three or foure daies before 
his death, at w c h tyme in the p r sence of diverse honest gentle- 
men both of worshippe and credicte he openlie [afjfirmed that 
he neaver intended to breake the lesse [several words muti- 
lated] of any parte of the bargaine concluded betwen his 
[grandson] and my doughter as he had done many tymes 
[before] greatlie blamynge me for that I had wrongfullie 
[belie]ved and uttered such suspicion of hym to the great 
[blem]ishe of his worshippe and credicte ; affirmynge [that he] 
was neaver privey nor consentinge to the [boy's] departure 
from me. and said how he had sent for [the] boye to Oxfford 
whom he meant to deliver unto [me] if he cam home before 
he died, otherwise he had taken order with his executors that 
they shuld deliver hym unto me, chardginge me as I shuld 
answer in honestie to god and to the world to see that matche 
consumated and perfected accordinge to the trust fidelitie 
and true meanynge of the same from the begyninge, from the 
w ch he neaver intended to swarve. and ther with all called my 
ladie unto hym and reconsiled [me] to herre of all suche mis- 
likings as shee had [con]ceaved againest me, desiringe herre to 
take my [daughte]r unto herre and to see herre vertiouslie 
brought [up in t]he feare of god w°h shee promised to doe, and 
[after] S r John decessed and all his funerall [rites] are per- 
formed my lady [several words muíií(jfcrf]pfullie accordinge 
to herre [promise in] good [faith] delivered the child to 
me . . . At Beraigne this thirde of Aprill : 1578. 
Yo r lovyng brother in lawe 

assured to his power, 

Maurice Wynn. 

This letter addressed from " Beraigne " suggests that 
Katheryn's own house was kept as a place of residence 

1 H'ynn Papers, No, 86, 

Katheryn of Èerain. 2 i 

during her life as the wife of Maurice Wynn, and this is 

confirmed by the fact that she returned there after Wynn's 

death. 1 

Seven days later John Wynn wrote a letter to his 

father-in-law, Sir William Gerard, which gives some inti- 

mation of Wynn's opinion of his step-mother. The letter, 2 

dated lOth April, 1578, relates to the dispute concerning 

the wardship. 

My very good 1. and loringe father in law 3 I assure yow 
my mynd did fortelle me, that y'stei-day I should heere from 
hom, \v°h was the cause I attended not yow to the corte as I 
was once determined. As I expected so cam hit to passe, 
for ysternight very late in the eveninge cam to the Cytye 
my fathers man wth answere to my 1. & m rs lett-ers, accom- 
peny«d w* h Sr Jhon Salsberyes son, havinge likwyse an answere 
from M r Salsbery of the Ruge and letters from my ladye Sal. 
to my L. In 'my pakket of letters I found on[e] directed to 
your L. from my father w<* I send yow wth this berer. I send 
yow also the coppyes of my fathers letter to my L. & of my 
L. letter to him (wch I know I may as well kepe bake as send) 
but onely for the performance of my fathers will and direction. 
The yonge gent. M r Salsbery is to fornishe him selfe w th 
morninge apparell before he com to my L. presence. my 
instructions are to deliver my letter to my L. att the same 
instant as he dothe, w°h is the cause of my stay froni courte 
this day. I understand uppon conference had wth tlie yonge 
gent, that my father is lulled in the securyty of his cause, and 
that hit is not untould him that yf he may have that 
law will geve him, tEe boy shall sure be his. Your L. and 
my selfe are growen to great suspicion because of oure last 
letters, so that (yf they could otherweyse chuse) nether yow 
nor I should be trust«d in this matter. My lady Sal. to b* 
in assurance of my father, hathe him and his wyfe altogether 
now att her house in dembighe, where m r Jo. Salsbery also is, 
where they so rule my father, that he ratyfyethe what they 
thinke fitt to be don. [several lines mutilated] I wold to god 
my fathers 3 T ees were also opened to see the same w<* I doubt 
not might be compased yf he weere once from the Cirens w<* 
enchant him, I mean his owen wyfe and my lady the boyes 

1 Mauriee Wynn also wrote a letter from Berain to his son John 
two years earlier (see Calendar of Wynn Papers, No. 72). 

2 Wynn Papers, No. 87. 

2 2 Katheryn of Berain. 

kM0ú I MM 

grandmother. in his letter for all there perswations he is 
contented to stand to my 1. crdor in this matter w c h yow may 
assure my 1. he for his parte wyll performe lett them do what 
they will. and att this time thej- are in full meaninge to stand 
wtli my 1. in the matter . . . Att the Inner Tempell this wens- 
day beinge the xth of Aprylle 1578. 

Your lo. lovinge sonne in law to commande, 


An undated letter froni John Wynn to " Mr. Attor- 
ney ", of which the author's draft is among the Wynn 
Papers, refers to the misunderstandings and intrigues 
with regard to Ijeycester's wardship, and to a visit by 
Lady Salusbury and her deceased husband's two executors 
to Buxton to interview Leycester. It is difficult to un- 
ravel the secmence of events as only fragments of the story 
emerge from the documents available. It would seem as 
if Lady Salusbury was in danger of losing control of the 
Llewenni property, for " the Little Park " probably re- 
fers to some part of that property. Wynn's letter suggests 
that Leycester stood to gain either one way or the other, 
the boy or the little park ; the wardship and the perqui- 
sites appertaining to it, or part of the property, to be fol- 
lowed by Leycester finding means in a short time " to 
compasse the whole ". 

John Wynn in the course of his life found means to 
' compasse " many additions to his own estates. 

One thing seems clear, that Lady Salusbury and 
Katheryn had a keen struggle to preserve control, Maurice 
Wynn being but a weak support to his wife. In the end 
the women won. 

John Wynn's letter 1 to the Earl of Leycester's attor- 
ney is as follows : — 

I know right well m» - Aty that my L. in Salsberyes matter 
is yll delt wf'all but hit worketh a great admiration in me 
tbat my L. havinge so p[lain and] just cause of offence 

ìí'i/nn Papers, No. 85. 

Katke?yn of Berain. 23 

agaenst others laytlie the [blame to] my charge w ch ever was 
most faethfull on his [L. bejhalfe. 

Was ther not a plaen and flatt promyse mad to his L. 
by those w ch are well able to performe, that ether the ward 
should be delivered to his honor, or the littell parke. The 
on[e] they have not donne, why ar they not urged to do the 
other ? 

The on[e] moyty of the parke is my ladyes, the other her 
childrens. yf her moyty weere obtaened accordinge to her 
promyse, I dowbt not but my L. myght íinde the means in 
short time to compasse the whole. The parke is never likly to 
be my brother Salsberys alíhoghe (to put over this brunt) they 
take him for a cloake and shadow. Yf I should not rather 
wyshe & procure hit to my good L. & m r , then to those to 
whom in no respect I stand tyed unto, the world wold say 
that I had greatly forgotten my self. Therefor what lyethe 
in my power to do in this assure my L. in my name that I shall 
do hit in sort as hit shall please his honor to direct me. 

Perchanse my accuser hathe grated on my fathers promyse 
mad to my L. by letter beinge jointly written by Jhon Salsbery 
and my father : yf that be so : then good m r Aty answere in 
this sort. The L. chancelor of Ierland, 1 travelinge towards 
Ierland (havinge belik som auctoryty from my L.) delt w th 
my Lady and the executors to understand what they wold be 
contented to give my L. for his interest in the ward. My Lady 
was content to ratyfy what her sonne in law Jhon Salsbery 
beinge an executor of trust should thinke resonable. The L. 
chancelor and he grew to an agreement : my father (because 
the ward was to marry his doghter) was cawled to assent & to 
subscribe the letter, w ch he did ; the letters weere forth wth dis- 
patched to his L. to Buxtons : my Lady uppon knoledge had 
of thear conclusion exclamed that they had conspyred to undo 
her and her heire & theere uppon ridd to Buxtons her selfe to 
my L. accompanyed w th Sr Jhons Salsberys executors Jo: 
Sal : & Thomas Salsbery, thear to conclude a new composityon 
& to dissolve the owld. whear what she & the executors 
promysed my L. I know doothe well remember. Sithence 
w ch time (because my father assented att first to geeve eny 
thinge to his L.) she hathe remaened his utter foo. 

When I was att Buxtons w th his honor I towld him then 
that I feared that my Lady wold not stand to her promyse : 
his honor replyed that she should first repent hit. Sythence 
then Sir Jhon w[ent to th]e contrey & sifted the matter 
thoroly. yf he sa[w that th]er was any fawt in my father 

Sir William Gerard. 

24 Katheryn of Berain. 

or that att all times that my father hathe not doone his 
utter-most indevor to cause my Lady to stand to her promyse 
then beleve me no more. 

The promyses considered I refer my self & this çause to 
my honorable consideration to judge whether I have offended 
or have beene wrongfully accused. 


Thomas Salusbury was entered as matriculating at 
Trinity College, Oxford, 29th January, 1579/80, aged 16, 1 
but he was at Oxford before that time, as appears from the 
letter of 3rd April, 1578, already quoted. In this letter, 
written after the death of Sir John Salusbury, Maurice 
Wynn says that before his death Salusbury declared he 
had sent to Oxford for the boy, in order to put him in 
Wynn's charge, at the same time desiring that the match 
with Wynn's daughter might take place. 

Maurice Wynn died in August, 1580, and Katheryn was 
a widow for the third time. There were two children of 
the Wynn marriage, Edward and Jane. Edward was the 
ancestor of the Wynns of Llwyn ; Jane we shall encounter 

Katheryn was the mother of six children, two Salus- 
burys, two Cloughs, and two Wynns. She went to Berain 
to live, and among the Llewenni papers is a lease dated 
March 8th, 1580/1, from " Katheryn Wynn of Berayne, 
co. Denbigh, widow, daughter and heir of Tudur ap Eobert 
. . . to Eobert Vaughan of Beawmarreis . . . servant of 
Sir Henry Sidney, President of the Council of the 
Marches, of a close called The Dtiffhouse Groft and appur- 
tenances in Beawmarreis. Term 21 years. Yearly rent, 
35s. 4d. Signed, Katheryn Wynn. Witnesses : Margarett 
Salusbury ; William Birchinsha ; John Tudder ; John ap 
Jeuan ; Jeuan Thomas ap Ken' ; John Graves." 

1 Foster: Alnmni O.ronienses, p. 1305. The age, 16. would fix the 
date of birth as 1564, two and a half years before his father's death. 
and tliat of bis brother John during tlie year 1565 or 1566. 

Ratheryn of Berain. 25 

The reference to Sir Henry Sidney, President of the 
Council of the Marches, is interesting. The first witness, 
Margarett Salusbury, is no doubt the wife of Katheryn's 
son, Thomas Salusbury, which proves that the child mar- 
riage had been solemnized as arranged, and that Margaret, 
on the death of her father, went to Berain to live, while 
her young husband, now seventeen, was studying at 
Oxford, where he had joined the secret society formed by 
a number of wealthy young men, led by Babington, with 
the object of protecting and maintaining Jesuit mission- 
aries who were then arriving in England. The last wit- 
ness but one was probably the Jeuan ap Thomas ap Kyn' 
(Kenrick or Kynrick) referred to in Katheryn's letter of 
February, 1577, to John Wynn as being in trouble for 
the killing of William ap Bic[hard] with a stone. 

Thus in the spring of 1581 Berain was again the home 
of Katheryn, where she lived surrounded by her children, 
including Margaret, the wife of her oldest child, Thomas 
Salusbury. John Wynn went to reside at Gwydir soon 
after the death of his father in the summer of 1580. Lady 
Salusbury, widow of Sir John, still lived at Llewenni. 

No documents are available to show what happened 
during the period between March, 1581, and January, 
1583. Much may be conjectured, for a draft has recently 
come to light of articles of agreement dated at Berain on 
the fifth of January, 1583, for a double marriage. The 
parties are Thomas Salusbury of Llewenni (Katheryn's 
brother-in-law), and John Wynn of Gwydir (her step-son), 
of the one part, and Simon Thelwall of Plâs y Ward and 
his son and heir, Edward, of the other part. 

Katheryn was to become the wife of Edward Thelwall, 
and her daughter, Jane Wynn, the wife of his son and 
heir, Simon Thelwall, who was born in 1570 and was 
therefore twelve years of age ; Jane Wynn was urider ten 

2 6 Katheryn of Berain. 

years — another child marriage in fact. 1 Jane Wynn was 
to receive a dowry of .£400 on her marriage with Simon, 
' or, if he die, with either of his brothers Herbert and 
William respectively ". 

Three generations of Thelwalls were living when this 
agreement was drawn up, Simon the elder, his son 
Edward, and his son Simon the yoimger. This arrange- 
ment recalls the very similar agreement for the Salusbury- 
Wynn alliance already described. 

Simon Thelwall senior, of Plâs y Ward, was a person 
of some importance in his day. He was born in 1526, the 
eldest son of Richard Thelwall of Plâs y Ward, admitted 
to the Inner Temple 23rd February, 1556, and called to the 
Bar 8th February, 1568, M.P. for Denbigh 1553 and 1571, 
for Denbighshire 1563-7, and High Sheriff 1572. Hewas 
one of the Council of the Marches, Deputy Justice of 
Chester 1576 and 1579, and Vice Justice of Chester 1580 
and 1584. He married Alice, daughter of Robert Salusbury 
of Rug and Bachymbyd, and died 1586. 2 If these dates 
can be accepted, Simon Thelwall senior was only nine 
years older than Eatheryn, and her fourth husband must 
have been her junior by some years. He was a widower, 
with three sons, the eldest, born in 1570, being the pro- 
spective husband of Katheryn's daughter, Jane Wynn. 

The Fourth Marriage. 

The date of the marriage of IÝatheryn to Edward 
Thelwall is not known, but it was probably not long after 
the date of the draft agreement, some time in 1583. Plâs 
y Ward was still occupied by Thelwall's father, and Thel- 

1 Child marriages were not infreqnent in the region of Chester at 
that time. See Child-Marriayes. Diiorces, and Iiatijìcations. §c, in 
the Diocese of Chester, A.D. 1561-6. Edited . . . . by Frederick J. 
Fnrnivall, M.A. London : Early English Text Society, 1897. 

• W. R. Williunis: History of the Great èessions of Wales, ]£í?9. 

Katheryii of Beraiii. 27 

wall went to live at Berain ; that he w r as there in October, 
1585, is shown by a document among the Wynn Papers, 1 
a receipt for ten pounds paid by John Wynn of Gwydir to 
Edward Thelwall and his wife, each of whom signed the 
receipt, " Ed. Theloal " and " Eatheryn Theloal", the 
signatures being witnessed by Ma. Salusburye (i.e. Mar- 
garet, w r ife of Thomas Salusbury), John Salusbury, John 
Tudder, and John Lloyd. It may be inferred from the 
absence of the name of Thomas Salusbury from the wit- 
nesses that he was not at Berain in October, 1585. 

A few months later, February, 1585/6, a daughter was 
born to Thomas and Margaret Salusbury, 2 and an agree- 
ment, dated the tenth of February, w T as executed between 
Thomas Salusbury of Ijlewenni 3 and John Wynn of 
Gwydir, " in consideration of a marriage already solem- 
nized", etc. Thomas Salusbury undertakes for the 
settling of all his properties to coiwey the same to John 
Wynn to the use of himself and his wife, with remainder 
to his sons by Margaret in order of seniority and to heirs 
male, with remainder to his brother, John Salusbury, and 
his sons and heirs male, etc. The inheritance of Ivatheryn, 
his mother, however, failing heirs male of his marriage, 
was to go to his daughter, Margaret, with remainder to 
any other daughters of Thomas Salusbury, etc. 

The year 1586 was full of fate for Katheryn. It opened 
with the birth of her first grandchild to survive infancy ; 
her fourth father-in-law, Simon Thelwall of Plâs y Ward, 
died in April ; in September her oldest child, Thomas 
Salusbury, was executed, with others, for alleged treason ; 

1 Wì/nn Papers, No. 101. 

2 At an earlier date a son had been born to Thonias and Margaret, 
named John, but had died an infant. 

3 Though described as of Llewenni there is no evidence that he 
made his home there. His grandmother, Lady Jane Salusbury, was 
still living. 

28 Katkeryn of Berain. 

and in December her second son, John Salusbury, now 
heir to Llewenni, was married. 

Thomas Salusbury appears to have been a rather weak 
character, a stubborn visionary, easily led. The evidence 
on which he and his fellows were convicted was considered 
sufficient in those suspicious days, but would to-day be 
laughed at. There is a record of the trial in Howell's 
State Trials, Vol. 1, page 1127 et seq., and some refer- 
ences in Historical Manuscripts Commission — XIVth 
Report, App., p. 614. 

The " Babington " conspiracy in which Thomas Salus- 
bury became involved took final shape in April, 1586. Its 
object was not to assassinate the Queen, as alleged, but 
the conspirators admitted that their aim was to put Mary 
Queen of Scots on the English throne. They were a 
number of wealthy young men, led by Babington. Thomas 
Salusbury had joined this secret society while at Oxford in 

The execution was followed by a commission being 
sent down to inquire into Thomas Salusbury's estate, and 
a jury was empanelled. This part of the story is un- 
folded in a memorandum among the Wynn Papers/.pre- 
pared by or for Sir John Wynn after the death of Sir John 
Salusbury the younger (1612). As this important docu- 
ment is only briefly described in the Wvnn Calendarit is 
desirable to reproduce it here. 

Tuder ap Robert esqr being sei'ed of the Capittall mess' 
of Beraigne et al' terr' infra dominium de denbighe et Com. 
Anglisey m'ried Jane daughter and heire to Sr. Rowland 
Velivell kt. Cohstable of Beawmarise in whose right the said 
Tuder was lihewise sei'ed of diverse lands in Anglisey etc. 
Tuder ap Robt and Jane Velivell had issue Katrine Tuder 
theire sole daughter & heire w ch Ratrine m'ried to her furste 
husband John Salesbury esqr son & heire apparaunt to Sr. 

1 Wynn Papers, No. 1387. 

Ratheryn of Berain. 29 

John Salesbuíy of Lleweny kt whoe died before his father 
having issue by Katrine Tuder ii sons viz Thomas Sal : after- 
wárds attainted ifc Sr John Sal : the last of Lleweny. Thomas 
Sal : attainted m'ried M'grett daughter to Moriee Wyn of 
Gwedir esqr & by her had issue M'grett Sal : sole daughter 
& heire w<* M'grett Sal : m'ried — son & heire to Sr. — Moriee 
of Speake by whom she hath issue div'se.sons & daughters. 

John Sal : furste husband to Ratrine Tuder dying yonge 
having Thomas Sal : and John Sal : the said Katrine m'ried 
Ric' Clowghe <fe Morice Wyn & Ed' Tlieloall esqrs & by Cloughe 
& Morice had issue. 

Sr. John Sal : father to Jon husband to Katrine upon the 
death of hLs eldest son drewe his daughter in lawe Katrine 
Tuder to passe an estate of all her lands to her yssue by her 
furst husband John Sal : q : if anie office weare found aftor 
that younge man. Thomas Sal. theldest son of John Sal & 
Katrine abouts A'o 1586 was attainted of treason. his mother 
then liring & m'ried to Ed' Theloall upon w<* Attainder of 
Thomas Sal : a Comission Came down to enquire of his 
estate and a Jury empanelled whoe by some old estate to 
theires males of Lleweny saved the inheritaunce of Salesbury 
i'rom forffecture. And as touching Beraine & the lands in 
Anglizey being Katrine Tuders inheritaunce & she then living 
& her son Thomas nev' seised theirof the Jury fownd nothing 
but left it as thoughe thestate were absolute in her for if 
the estate form'ly made by Katrine Tuder to her issue by 
John Sal had heine p'duced Beraine etc. had gone to the 
Crowne that office' wch was ffownd upon Thomas Sal : his 
attaindor is requisite to be seene w c h is of Record. 

The estate made by Katrine Tuder of her lands to her 
furste husbands issue is not \x th us att Gwedir but muste 
remaine at lleweny for it is to be intended that Katrine Tuder 
had past it longe before her interm'iedge with Morice Wyn 
other wise she wold have done somthinge for her issue by 
Cloẅghe & by him & sp'ially for Ed'd Wynne her son. 

The documents mentioned as ' nott with us att 
Gwedir ' have been found, in part at least, among the 
Llewenni papers, and have been used in preparing this 
account of Ratheryn. These documents are too lengthy 

1 Office = " An otficial inquest or inquiry concerning any matter 
that entitles the king to the possession of lands or chattels. To finâ 
an ojîce — to retnrn a verdict showing that the king is thus entitled. 
Office found = a verdict having this effect. The same term also occurs 
earlier in the document. 

30 Ratheryn of Berain. 

for reproduction here, but they will be dealt with in the 
Calendar of Llewenni Papers now in preparation. 

It must have been an anxious time for Katheryn when 
the Commission came down to inquire. According to Sir 
John Wynn's notes just recited, if the documents relating 
to the settlements made after the death of her first hus- 
band had been made known to the Commissioners, Berain 
and Penmynydd would have been liable to forfeiture. The 
documents were not produced and the danger passed. 

The knowledge that the Crown might step in and 
attach at least some of these estates must have disturbed 
Katheryn considerably, following on the heels of her other 
troubles. Her heart thus grievously wrung by the execu- 
tion of her elder son and the risk of forfeiture of his estate, 
she proceeded to huiry on the marriage of her younger 
son, John Salusbury, now the heir to Llewenni, which 
would pass to other Salusburys in default of heirs male to 
Katheryn's son. Again the two sirens, as Sir John Wynn 
called them, Katheryn and her mother-in-law, Dame 
Salusbury, may have connived together, and three months 
after his brother's execution John Salusbury was married 
to ürsula Stanley, a daughter of Henry Stanley, 4th Earl 
of Derby. 

We get a glimpse of the marriage festivities in a 
' poysie ' ' presented to Katheryn at Berain on the 27th 
December, 1586, where a masque was performed as part 
of the proceedings to greet the home-coming of John 
Salusbury and his bride. They were married on the 18th 

In the Christ Church MS. already referred to, the 
following entry occurs : — 

This Poysie was presented In A Maske att Berine In 
Christmas the xxvijth F Desember 1586 : vnto M"s Katherin 
Thelloall, Beinge written In A Sheelde And Deliuerede by 
William Winne OF LLanver Esquier at the Mariage of Iohn 

Ratheryn of Berain. 3 1 

Salisburye of LLeweuy Esquier Her Sonne and heaire wth 
Vr§ula Stanley Daughter vnto the righte Honorable Henrie 
Earle of Derbye And devisede by Roger Salisburye of bache- 
gerige Esquier 

Dame Venus deare youe Maye Rejoyee 
at your Sonne Cupides happy Choyse 
To hym as By the Gods Asseignde 
For to delighte hys doulfull mynde, &c. 
This other Poysie was p r sentede in The former Maske in A 
Sheelde alsoe by Rog : Sal : of bach : esquier Vnto Vr : Sal : 
wyfe A r nto M r Io : Sa : Afore saide And devised by the sayde 
Rog: Sal: 

The Ljon Rampinge 1 for his Praye 
A princlye byrde hee dyd Assaye 
and hauinge winges to flye at Will, 
yet Caughte her faste & houlds hir still 
"\yth hyr to sporte as Lyckes them beste, 
Thoughe Lions stoute vse not to jest 
A thinge moste strange yet is ytt trewe, 
God graunt them Joy and so Adewe. 

On the death of his father Edward Thelwall became 
possessed of Plâs y Ward, whither in due course he and 
his w T ife went to reside. 

Lady Salusbury was still living at Llewenni ; the date 

of her death is curiously not recorded on the tomb which 

she erected in Whitchurch, Denbigh, in 1588, for her late 

husband and herself. She is described on the monument 

as ' daughter and Co heier of dauid Midleton esquier 

alderman of westchester . . . died : the of in 

A° 15 ". The registers of Bodfari parish record the 

baptisms of the children of John Salusbury and his wife, 

Ursula Stanley. The entries up to 1595 describe him as 

' heir of Llewenny ", and in 1597 he is called " Mr. John 

Salusbury of Lleweny Esquire", from' which entries it 

may be inferred that his grandmother died some time be- 

tween the seventh of May, 1595, and the sixth of June, 


1 The arms of the Salusburys of Llewenni, a lion rampant, on a 

Katheryn of Berain. 


If this inference is correct the older of the two 
" sirens " outlived the younger by rive or six years. 

There is reason for believing that relations between 
Dame Salusbury and Katheryn were none too pleasant 
during the later years of Katheryn's life. The strained 
feeling was most likely due to property dispositions. The 
Berain property, as we have shown, was settled on the 
only child of Thomas Salusbury, his daughter. It may 
have been that when Katheryn went to Plâs y Ward the 
widow of Thomas Salusbury with her daughter remained 
at Berain, while John Salusbury with his wife went to 
reside with his grandmother at Llewenni. 

A letter 1 dated November 23rd, 1590, gives a hint of 

the position as between Berain and Plâs y Ward. It is 

from William Birchinshaw of Denbigh (either a solicitor 

or an estate agent), to " John Salüsburye of Lleweny, Esq. 

at Mr Thomas Martenes house in holbourne ". After deal- 

ing with various business matters the writer proceeds : — 

As for the release from Mr. Shereff & your mother to my 
TJncle Roberte gwynne I have conferred for it with her all- 
readie and shee answereth me that as soone as shee maie come 
home to plaswarde (for shee is yet at Beraine) it shall be done 
accordinglie. Thus I have thought it my dutie to certifie you 
of what you comytted me in charge : and so to take leave for 
this tyme, hoping of your saulf arryvall at your jorneys ende, 
and of the good successe of your business sethence, which I 
praie god to graunt. denbigh this monday evening the xxiijth 
of november 1590. 

So far this letter is the only bit of evidence available 
for the closing years of Katheryn's life. She died 27th 
August, 1591, at the age of 56, and was buried in Llan- 
efydd Church. No monument marks her last resting place, 
which fact has been the subject of comment, considering 
the great place she filled during her life, and the number of 
her descendants. There is nothing extant which throws 

1 Lleioenni Papers. 



To face />. 3 
Çatherine Morgan- The Caegwyn Portrait, by Gilbert Jackson, 1632. 

Matheryn of Berain. 33 

light on this singular neglect of the memory of so great 
a lady. 

An elegy by Hugh Machno refers to her death as 
taking place at Plâs y Ward, whence her body was re- 
moved to Berain, and then to Llanefydd for burial. 

Many stories of her ways and doings are told in North 
Wales. Some are spiteful and rest only on gossip ; such 
tales increase in the telling. 

There is the legend, for instance, of many lovers in 
addition to her four husbands. 

The story goes that when she tired of a lover she 
poured molten lead in his ears and buried him in the 
orchard at Berain. If there is any grain of truth under- 
lying this story it surely can only refer to the last ten 
years of her life, during part of which she lived at Berain. 

It is also said that her fourth husband, Thelwall, kept 
her under strict surveillance and treated her unkindly. 
This is not borne out by such evidence as is obtainable. 
The letter of William Birchinshaw quoted above shows 
that in the year 1590 she was actively taking part in 
business affairs, and free to go to and fro between Plâs y 
Ward and Berain. 

Marriage and Christmas festivities combined, with a 
' maske " or play, poetic addresses to the bridegroom's 
mother, and to the bride, do not suggest a husband and 
wife at variance. On the contrary they suggest a coura- 
geous woman, sorrowing for the execution of one son, 
bravely nerving herself to give a joyful marriage festivity 
to the other. Katheryn was about fifty-one years of age 
when these events took place, if the assumed date of her 
birth, 1535, is correct. She lived a little over five years 
longer. Many eloquent tributes to her memory and good- 
ness were called forth by her death. A few of them are 
printed in Poems by Sir John Saìusbury and Robert 


34 Katheryn of Berain. 

Chester, pp. 36-47, including two in Latin by Owen Jones, 
Clericus, another in Latin signed David Jones, one in 
English by Robert Salusbury " Doctor of the civille law ' 
(brother of Katheryn's first husband), another in English 
by Cadwaladr Wynn of Yoylas, and, most important of 
all, the Epitaph of mistris Ratheryn Theloaìl, by Robert 
Parry, the eminent poet whose unique little volume of 
poems, Sinetes Passions, 1597, formerly of the Britwell 
Court library, now reposes in the Henry Huntington 
library at San Marino, California. 1 

Robert Parry is closely associated with the literary life 
of Katheryn's son John (afterwards Sir John) Salusbury, 
but that is a long and interesting story which cannot be 
dealt with here. 

Nor w T ere the Welsh poets silent — Katheryn's praises 
were recited by Simwnt Fychan, Sion Phylip, William 
Cynwal, Sion Tudur, Huw Machno, Morus Berwyn, 
Rhisiart Phylip, Robert Ifan, Edward ap Raph, and 

Many of these elegies are to be found in the Christ 
Church manuscript, and in various manuscripts in the 
National Library. The following is one example : — 

Coioydd manonad am. meistres Catrin Tudur, o waith 
Simwnt Vychan. 

Gwae lu pann dywyllo gwlad 
gwael yw heb i goleuad 
kwyn oer dig fal kynnar dwyll 
kennym, ddifFoddiad kannwyll 
duw hoff weddi diffoddes 
doe gannwyll aur, dug yn lles 
yr honn gannwyll aur hynod 
oedd wraic lân yn heuddu'r glod 
bwriwyd Aeres llys berain 
bur ddoe 'mysc manbridd a main. 

1 By the courtesy of the Librarian and Trustees a photostat copy 
is in the National Library of Wales, 

Ratheryn of Beraìn. 

Teg i feirdd tew gyfyrddynt 
trin gwin mastres Catrin gynt. 
Ofer i wann kwynfann knr 
west wedi Aeres dudur 
wyr a phennes ar ffynnu 
irlan Robart fychan fu 
Aeres gynt a roes y gwin 
Ai haelwyd ar dir heilin 
Ar ol Aeres Syr Rolant 
felyfel tric oerfel trwy gant. 
bu iddi 'mysc budd a mawl 
bedwar o wyr gwybodawl 
pedwar post heb annostec 
pedwar angel tawel têc 
Or kyntaf adroddaf draw 
Aer y ssydd, hiroes iddaw 
Ai haer fal y mynnai hi 
yw lluniaidd Aer lleweni 
Aer Sion ai'n uweh ris no neb 
wyr marchoc enwoc wyneb. 
Arall Sion, a merch iarll ssydd 
yn unair fal glan winwydd. 
Trydydd Sion at aur adail 
lleweni dêc ai llwyn dail 
Sion aur galonn i gelwir 
Syr Sion i kroessawo'r ssir 
yn lleweni ai llannerch 
y bu dri Syrr byw drwy sserch 
A Sion at faes yntau fydd 
eb daring yn bedwerydd 
koffr y gwir, kaiff hir gariad 
kymro a ludd, kam ir wlad. 
Y mae merch gywirsserch gall 
yn wyr, o fab gwynn arall 
i gatrin llin darlleinynt 
or ail gwr ssynhwyrol gynt 
klowch o rissiart klwch rassol 
kawn had a dyhio'n i hôl 
dwy aeres hynod eirwir 
draw yn dal dwyrann o dir 
Ann a chalonn wych helaeth 
aur gost i fachegraic aeth 
Mari nyffrynn harddwynn hir 
Melai yno i moliennir. 
Or trydydd gŵr at rediad 
i Gatrin gwydd gwin a gâd 
da gynnyrch dau eginynn 
fry ssy imp o Yorys Wynn 

30 Ratheryn of Berain. 


Edwart gwynn, draw at y gwir 
a ddewissant drwy ddwyssir 
A Sian or grymus winwydd 
ymhlas y ward ai mawl ssydd 
yn briod un wennbur dâl 
a theilwng aer o Thelwal 
dyna hardd flodau'n i hol 

dri gwr da ragorol 
pedwerydd aur winwydd ryw 
y ssydd alarus heddyw 

1 mastr Edwart friwddart fraw 
thelwal y mae gwaith wylaw 
plas y ward koel iownwad klêr 
poenus fu gwympo i hanner 

Or ty hwnn, gwae'n nassiwn ni 

y tynnwyd plaid daioni 

Ni thynnir, gwae'n iaith ennyd 

bath honn o burion y byd 

kwyn oedd anap kan ddynion 

kwyn blwng wrth gynhebrwng honn 

lann ynys, felys fawl 
i lann ufudd, le nefawl 

fry i wynn dŷ fair wenn dwyn 
iw gwyddfa y wraic addfwyn 
Tenantiaid truanniaid draw 
Tylwyth, doeth arnynt wylaw 
pob nai, pob nith chwith fu'r chwedl 
pybyr gwyn, pawb o'r genedl. 
Oedran oedd, drwy iawn addef 
y gwynn wr ai dug i nef 
wythgant a sseithgant dann ssel 
naw dêg, ac un diogel 

1 dylwyth hyd bryd elawr 
duw fyth y mae adwy fawr 

I sswydd gynt, kwrs hawdd a gaid 
ai rhinwedd, rhoi i weiniaid 
Graslawn hoff uniawn ffynnu 
goludawc hyfoethawc fu 
Oi theilwng gyfoeth helaeth 
at duw ir nef katrin aeth. 

N.L.W. Peniarth MS. 121. 

Rhisiart Phylip in his elegy praises greatly Katheryn's 
generosity : — 

Pob noeth fo wyr pawb i nad 
a ddiwallodd o ddillad. 

Ratheryn of Berain. t>7 

Ni bu ddyn a newyn awr 
wrth i drws ddiwarth dryssawr 
Na chafodd iawn i chofiaw 
ginio'n wir ddigon i naw. 1 

Christ Church MS., p. 195. 

Surely that is an all-sufficient monument to a loveable and 
gracious lady. 

It has been observed that although the first Lord 
Herbert of Cherbury resided for a time at Plâs y Ward 
he makes no mention of Katheryn in his Autobiography. 
He was sent when nine years of age to learn Welsh from 
Edward Thelwall. This was about the year 1592, when 
Katheryn had been dead at least a year, and it is not sur- 
prising that, writing many years later, his recollection of 
his residence with Edward Thelwall contains no reference 
to her. 

The Portraits. 

Of the four reputed portraits two only can be accepted 
as being genuine, the Ehiwlas and the Llewesog paint- 
ings. With the kind permission of the owners the four 
paintings have been photographed, and are reproduced. 

The late Mr. James D. Milner, Director of the National 
Portrait Gallery, made a careful study of the four as 
far as this was possible from photographs ; his illness and 
much regretted death prevented the visit to examine the 
originals which we had planned. He, however, made the 
notes which follow : — 

' ' With regard to the four portraits said to represent 

Catherine of Berain which you now have on exhibition. 
1. The youthful painting of 17 or 20. 

1 Every naked one (his wail is known to all) she fully supplied with 
clothing. Never was there a hungry man at her door (irreproachable 
treasure) who did not truly receive a dinner sufficient for nine (it is 
right that she sliould be remembered). 

-»8 Ratheryn of Berain. 


2. The rniddle aged lady dated 1568. 

3. The elderly lady c. 55 or 60. 

4. The young lady dated 1632. 

I m'ust say that anatornically they are irreconcilable 
and cannot possibly represent the same lady at any 
period of her life. 

Careful examination of the excellent photographs 
you sent disclose such differences in the features, such 
a variation in the bony construction, that no serious 
student of portrait-anatomy would dare pronounce all 
four ladies to be the same person painted by different 
artists and at different ages. 

Let us examine the photographs in detail. 

1. (Ehiwlas). Although the costume looks correct 
for the period 1550-5 it was very un-English for such 
heavy gold chains to be worn round the neck : the 
painting suggests a much later date and the crackleur 
of the paint in the background rather supports this 
suggestion. I must see the original before I commit 
rnyself further. 

2. (Llewesog). This painting, dated 1568, was pro- 
bably executed in Flanders while she was the wife of 
Eichard Clough and resident in Antwerp. The work 
is decidedly Flemish in technique and the head, judg- 
ing from the larger of the two photographs, beautifully 
modelled. Besides,her age when this portrait was done, 
viz. 34, is exactly right. In my opinion this is a very 
fine portrait and probably the only authentic one of the 
first three, for the fourth is quite out of the question. 
(The inscription is Ano Dni 1568 Catherine Tudor of 

3. (Wigfair). This portrait as far as the lady's age 
is concerned might well be correct, but I think that 
the details of costiune rather suggest a later date than 

Kathcrvn of Berain. 39 

1591, the year of her death ; besides, I doubt if the 
practice of painting the subject within an oval spandril 
was in vogue quite so early. The portrait suggests the 
technique of early 17th century rather than that of the 
last decade of the 16th. There is a faint, very faint 
possibility of reconciling the features of Nos. 1 and 
3, but none whatever of agreement between Nos. 2 
and 3. 

4. (Cae-gwyn). This portrait which is dated 1632 

and signed Gilbert Jack is painted by the well-known 

artist Gilbert Jackson, whose signature appeared in 

various forms such as " Gil Jack ", " Gilbert Jack ", 

" Gilbert Jackson ". It is a fine specimen of his work. 

I cannot quite see from the photograph the age of the 

sitter or even the artist's signature, but I recognise his 

writing in /Etatis suae 1632. (The inscription is 

^tatis suae 39, 1632— Gilbert Jack pinxit 1632). 

No. 1 is a portrait of Catherine, daughter of Sir 

YYilliam Jones of Castlemarch and wife of Eobert Morgan 

of whom there is a portrait by the same artist at Caegwyn. 

The Welsh hat is of importance as an illustration of a 

Welsh lady's hat as worn in the seventeenth century. 

The tall beaver hat usually accepted as being typically 

Welsh was introduced into Wales in the eighteenth cen- 

tury. The late Principal Davies called attention to a 

Welsh ballad, 1778, referring to its introduction. 1 

Sir Lionel Cust, KC.V.O., to whom the photographs 
of Nos. 1 and 2 were sent with a copy of Mr. Milner's 
notes, writes : — " The two portraits of which you have 
sent photographs can represent the same person. The one 
with the gold chain looks like a French portrait, and 
possibly much repainted. The larger portrait is a genuine 
painting of the date, 1568 ". 

1 Bibliography of Welsh Ballads, No. 304. 


1.— TCatherin Salesbury. 1566, Jiily 12 


2. — Katrvn Sa)usburv. löfiO. AuçiiRt 15. 

•">•— TCatheryn Wynn 1576/7. February 24 

4. — Katheryn Wynne. 1580/1, March 8. 

5.— Katheryn Theloal. 1585, < >ctober 29. 
Autographs of Katheryn of Berain. 

To face />. 41 . 

Katheryn of Berain. 41 

picture's movements prior to its settlement in the house 
where it is now carefully preserved. The story can only 
be clearly understood when further details with regard to 
the replicas of the picture are available. 


The five signatures reproduced (Plate 5) represent the 
only known autographs of Katheryn. The first two vary in 
the spelling of her christian name though written within 
five weeks of each other. Later she appears to have 
stabilized her name as IÝatheryn, and that form has been 
followed in this paper. There is a similar variation in 
the spelling of Wynn and Wynne. The Gwydir family 
usually wrote Wynn, but there was not a fixed spelling. 
The letter of February, 1577, is addressed to John Wynne 
(by Thomas Brooke) but Katheryn signs Wynn. No 
autograph with the Clough surname has been found, and 
there is no known writing in Katheryn's hand beyond the 

Katheryn's Descendants. 

Katheryn has long been familiarly known as " Mam 
Cymru ", because of the numerous families w T ho claim to 
be descended from her, on account of the royal blood 
in her veins. The number of alliances of herself and her 
children with leading families is remarkable. This is 
illustrated to a certain extent by the four tables appended ; 
these are based on tables compiled and kindly placed at 
my disposal by Mr. R. D. Roberts of Bethesda. 

The story of Sir John Salusbury, the poet, who was a 
contemporary of. and may even have known, Shakespeare, 
has been told by Professor Carleton Brown. 

The history of Hester Lynch Salusbury, the wife of 
Thrale the brewer and afterwards of Piozzi the musician, 


42 Katheryn of Berain. 

and the friend of Dr. Johnson, bulks large in the literature 
of her time. 

The marriages which took the Llewenni estates to the 
Cottons of Combermere Abbey, and which brought the 
Wynnstay properties to descendants of Katheryn, are to 
be traced in the pedigree tables as here printed. 

To follow the many interesting side tracks opened up 
by the story of Katheryn of Berain woald lead far afield. 
Our purpose has been to recover as far as possible the 
personal history of this famous lady. 

Arms of Berain. 

Gules, íi lion rampant, a>:, 
armed, azure. 


jdll \ KATHIÍKY\ 



Buried at 

OF lilíRAIN' 

Buried at 

Llauefydd, 1591 (See p. 2) 



Thomas Margaret, d. of Maurice 

uted Wynn of Gwydir and 

1686) Jane BuUceley 

(d. in infancy) 

Margaret=Edward Norris o 
Speke, Lancs. 


Sir John Salusbury,= 
Chamberlain of North 
Wales.d. 1577/8 

Jane Myddeltòn, d. of 
David Myddelton,of 



Aiii.e. d. of Richard Clough 
aud Ratheryn 
of Berain 

Sei Table 2) 


\livi-, OF SAl l -m RY, 

Gules, a lion rampant, ar,, 
ducally erowned,or,beticeen 
threi orescehts, ofthe last. 


i.v, p 

| 1586 
(Sir) John=Ursu!a Stanley, d. of 

Salusbury of Llew- 
enni, knighted bv 
Q. Elizabeth, 1601, 
.1. 1612 

-tth Earl of Derby 

.l.i ii» 

•l.iiii- (bapt. lOtli Harry 

' lcl . 1687) wifci of (born and died 

Thomas Prys of 26th Oct., 1588) 
Pla iolyn 

(1) Hesterd.of=Henry, aft, Sir=(2) Elizabethd.of 

Sir Thomi 



Henry Salns 
bury.lst Bart. 
(bapt. Sept. 
1 589, buried 

Sir Thomas Salusbnry, 
2nd Bart., d. 1643 

Hester, d. of Sir 
Edward Tyrrell, 

Sii Thomas Salusbury, 
:; " Barl ,d. withoul issùe, 

John Vaughan, 
Ear] of Carbery 

(born and died 


i lapt. i John 

(born '"'iil No< . 
1592, "1 a1 
siege of Prague i 


John, aft. Sir John 
Salusbury, d. 1684, 

ttli and last Bart. 




i Iriana 




rabella wifuof 

(bapt. 8th Apnl 


(liajit 6th .1 iiih'. 

1 1599-1622) 

(boi'ii iiimì rli 


i,i Johnes o{ 

died 9th April, 

wlfc of 




John Parry of 



Hester=Sir Robert Cotton of 
aucceeded her brother I Combermere, lst 
to Llewenni (d. 1710) Bart., buried .tan. 

lltb. 1 7 I U 13 

(<1. in infanoy) 

(d. in infancy) 

Hugh Caheley 

Sir Thonias < iotton Philadelphia, d. 
2nd Bar( . 'I I7I."< I of Sir Thomas 
Lynch, Kt. 

(d, 1702) 

urj Cotton 
S'jd Bart., d. 1748. Sold 
L lewenin estate to the Hon, 

i ■ 

Sir Lyuch Salusbury Cottoi 
4th Bart., d. 1 7 7 ". 


Sophia ter Maria John Salusburj 

1773) of Bachygraig 

(1) Hei L'hrali Hester Lynch (2) Gabriel Piozs 
(ŵeTable 2 I 


(l)Catherine Muldert,=RICHARD CL0UGH=<2) KATHERYN OF BERAIN 
of Antwerp Rnight of the Holy 

Sepulchre. d. 1570 

Froni this marriage was descended 
Arthur Hngli Clough, the poet 

liuherited Maenan 
Ahhey) d. 1096 

Mary=William Wnin. 

of Melni, 

Anne=Roger Salusbury, D.C.L., 


6th son of Sir John 
Salusbury of Llewenni, 
buried 1623 

(See Table 1 ) 

Arms of Clocbh. 

Quarterly : \st and ith azure, a 
greyhound's head. couped argent he- 
tween three mascles of the latt. '2nd 
and Srd or, a lion passant aaure 

croicned: on a chief of the last, a 
Jerusalem-cross betireen four cross 
crosslets gules, on eitlicr side a sirord 
arff. handled or. 



,1. 1626 

d. HM4 

Jane=Owen Price 

John Salusbury,=Elizid)eth Ravenscroft 
M.P. for co. 

Grace=Thomas Myvod 
of Henllan 

II 1,1 I 
5 daughters 

(l)Elizabeth,-=John Salusbury,=(2) Judith, d. of Thomas 
d. of James, son and heir M.P. for co. Whichcote 

of Sir William Norreys Flint. 


I , 

Col. Thomas Salus-- 

bury, d. 1700 (suc- 

ceeded his brother 

John) ^^^ 

Anne, á. of Thomas Peròival, 

North Weston 


Lucv Sahisbury=Thomas tìalnsbury 
I d. 1714 

John Salnsbury=Hester Maria, d. of Sir Thomas Cotton, 
(1710-1762), Governor 2nd Bart., of Combermere and 

of Nova Scotia Llewenni 

(1) Henry Thrale=Hester Lynch Salusbury=(2) Gabriel Piozzi. 
(ŵeTable 1) 

Norfolk Salusbury=Elizabeth William 
d. 1736 

Robert Saluslmry, 

i>f Cotton Hal). Denbigh 

d. 1776 

Sir Robert Salusbury, Bt., 

of Cotton Hiill, Denbigh, 

and Llanwern, co. Mon- 

mouth, M.P., d. 1817, 

leaving issiie. 

[Mrs, Piozzi left Bachygraig and Brynbella to her seoond husband's family, of whoni was Sir John Salusbury Piozzi-Salusbnry, Kt.. of Brynhella 
(1793-1858), -'nd son of Sig. Giambattista Piozzi, of Brescia, «hose descendants bear the name and arms of Salusbury ] 

ânns "i Wykr 

TABLE III . M \UK1 \<Q\ 

oi Gwydir 

| 1689 

Edward \\ -. m B che Vaughan, 

,,i fstrad, ci. 

of Blaenycwm 

SìiuuiiThelw i i Ward 

d. 1006 

I I ! 

I-,, Barbara Març Cathei - John Thomas Owen=Ladj | Edward. 

Williams Mary Dorothy Williams Mostyu killed at Den 

(aon .,i Knthoi yn's fonrth 


Groom »1 the l'nv\ 

of LllWll 

bigh, 1646 

Mi redydd, Mnurice 
i Ward ,.i Glaiitunad 

I I I I I I 

I ird, Clerk of the Green Owen, of Llwyn Margarel Richard John 

Cloth '■■' M i âieà d. 1717 Catherine Dorothy 


n ithout issue 

- mon Tholwall, (2) I ., Edmniul, A,, re\i Joìn 

■ i Pentrin 

Plâsj Ward 
d. I66f 

Watkin Edwards Wynn.of 
Llwyn, ,1 1796, bm ied 
at Llani haiadr " Lasl 
existing lieir of Gwydir" 

Moi 1 1 Wj i,n. "f Llwyn, d. 17 

ihirn \\ M.ii, of Llwyn, d. 1782 

i Iwen, Maurice Wynn, LL I < 

,i 1805 Rectoi of Bangoi I ■. I oed, d. 1885. 

"Hedevised his property t" bis nephew, the 
Rev. Lloyd Fleteher, w ä i < > assumed the 
additiona! iiiiinii of Wynn, Nerquis Hal) 
«iis lefl to the K • Maurice Wynn by the 
tiiii Misses ( riffard of thal place" 

Urd 8 ■! i:.„l 

Sinion, R i , ,,i, ifj nydi 

ii iii I i iii:, 

I I I I I 1 I i I 

IfilOl Dll ■■! l ■ 

Enward B v ,,„ Wi,,,,. „,,„ ,,, 

Sir Joliu \\ v iii, 



,1 1828 

PhülipsLloyd Fletcher, 
uf Gwern Haulod, d. 

H illi mi Willinms !ncl Bnrl 

.,, BOll ,,l 


Sir Wntl in w illiam W 8rd Bnrt., 

w w ,i ,,.,- 

i i ,: w \ iii , Bni 
n ol Sn- John ' W \ ,i,i. ,,i 

The Rev. Lloyd Fletcher Wyuu, 
of Nerquis llall. died without 

Thomas Lloyd Fletcher, 
died iii 1860, li 

TABLE IV - 4tl, M \lìKI VGE. 

Ì.BMS Ol Tllll \l VI 1 

(iti/rs. on a chevi'on <>r, between threc 

hmtrs' hcaiìs, ar</.. threc trefoih sali/c 

of Plás y Ward, d. 1610 

No issue. 

By the Eev. E. TYEEELL-GEEEN, M.A., 

Author of " The Church Architecture of Wales", " Baptismal Fonts" 

(S.P.C.R., 192SJ, $c. 


I. — Introductory . . 



-Churches of the Native Celtic Plan 

(1 ) The prevailing type of single-chamber plan . 

(2) More or less regular additions to the primi 

tive Celtic plan 

(a) Porches 

(b) Belfries 

(3) Occasional later additions to the native church 

plan . . 

(a) Chancels 

(b) Lateral Chapels 




Work of the Norman period and style 
Penmon and St. Seiriol 

(2) Work of the thirteenth and fourteenth cen 

tury Gothic development 

(3) Prevalence of Perpendicular AVork of the late 

fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries (the 
Tudor period) . . 


Holyhead . . 

Llanidan . . 


Anglesey Towers 


(1) Celtic Crosses 

(2) Fonts . . 

(3) Sepulchral Memorials 


















The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

(4) Woodworlc 

(a) Stalls 

(b) Roodsereens 

(c) Pulpits 

(5) Dog-tongs 

V.— Conclusion . . 






/ . 


























-The island church of Llangwyfan 
-Llanfair-yn-Neubwll church from N.W. . . 
-Llaniestyn church from S.E. 
-Llangeinwen ehurch — interior 
-Penmon priory church — tower . . 
-Penmon priory church— tympanum 
-Llanbadarn-Fawr (Radnorshire) — tympanum 
-Llanfair-yn-Neubwll— E. window 
-Beaumaris — clerestory . . 
-Beaumaris— tracery of aisle windows 
-Canterbury Cathedral — window tracery in 

bishop Meopham's chapel 
-Llaneilian church from S.E. 
-Holyhead — S. doorway 
-Holyhead — parapet of S transept 
-Beaumaris — tracery of E. window 
-Beaumaris— tracery of E. window of S. aisle 
-Weaverham (Ches.)— window tracery 
-Prestwich (Lancs.) — window tracery 
-Burnley (Lancs.) — window tracery 

- Beaumaris — tower 
-Llandegfan — tower 
-Llanfechell — tower 
-Holyhead — tower 

- ] jlanerchymedd — tower 
-East Hagbourne (Berlcs.) — tower 
-Llanfair-yn-y-Cwmmwd — font 
-Llanfìhangel-yn-Nhywyn— font 
-Llanrhychwyn (Carnarvonshire) — font 
-Llangeinwen — font 
-Llanidan — font 
-Penmon — font 
-Melbury Bubb (Dorset)— font 
-Llangristiolus — font 










The Ecclesiology of Angiesey. 45 



— Hen Eglwys — font 

.. 101 


— Llanfair-yn-Neubwll — font 

.. 102 


— Llangaffo— font 

.. 103 


— Llancìegfan — font 

.. 103 


— Holyhead — font 

.. 104 


— Beaumaris— font 

.. 105 


— Sepulchral slab— Llanfair-yn^y-Cwmmwd 

.. 107 


— Memorial slab — Llanddeiniol-Fab 

.. 108 


— Miserere — Beaumaris . . 

.. 110 


— Miserere — Beaumaris . . 

.. 110 


— Rood-screen — Llaneilian 

faciny 113 


— Dog-tongs — Llanedwen 

. . 115 

[The illustrations are from drawings made by the writer espressly 
for this work, with the following exceptions : — No. 4 is from a photo- 
graph kindly supplied by the Vicar of Llangeinwen. Nos. 31, 33 and 
34 have already appeared in my paper on Welsh Fonts ( Cymmrodorion 
Transactions, 1918-9). For permission to reproduce Nos. 30 and 32 
I am indebted to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, the 
publishers of my book on Baptismal Fonts (1928), whose courtesy in 
this matter I wish to acknowledge. — E. T-G.]. 

I. — Introductory. 

Aboüt an island there is always an attraction. Apart 
from picturesque glimpses of sea or shore, of' rock-girt cliff 
or sandy bay, which charm the eye at frequent intervals, 
there is a subtle sense of definiteness or finality which 
imparts a feeling of satisfaction to the undertaking of an 
island's exploration. Attaching to the study of such an 
isle as Anglesey, teeming with the associations of a dim 
and remote past, there is the further appeal of romance 
and mystery, for were not this Mona and its sister-isle, 
the still more sea-girt Mona to the north, long connected 
in men's minds with the f'abled Fortunate Isles of the 
western seas? 1 Then, leaving legends and dreams for the 

1 Rowlands treated of these legends in his Mona Antiqua 
Bestanrata (1723). 

46 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

dawn of history, we recall how the Archdruid of all 
Britain had in Môn his sanctuary, so that from it the niost 
powerful influences of life radiated over the whole land. 

Our present interest, however, is centred not upon 
Cromlech or Maenhir or stone-built cytiau, that present 
their problems to the student of human civilisation in its 
earliest forms and aspects, but we are concerned with 
those structures which from the first preaching of the 
Gospel to our forefathers have borne their witness, 
through all the conflicts and changes of ihe centuries, that 
the land is claimed for Christ. 

The successive waves of conquest that have passed 
over Britain have, however, left comparatively little trace 
in Anglesey, and owing to its insular and remote situa- 
tion the island has been to a large extent immune from 
foreign influence, remaining conservative of its customs, 
language and types of structures alike domestic and 

When the Roman legions penetrated to the western 
shores of Britain, Segontium (Carnarvon) became at once 
the bulwark and the nucleus of the distant outpost of the 
far-flung Empire. From Segontium Anglesey was easily 
overawed and there are records of ' invasions ' ' of the 
island under Suetonius in a.d. 58, and twenty years later 
under Julius Agricola. 1 In the ninth century an invasion 
by the Saxon IŸing Egbert left at least one permanent 
trace behind it, for it resulted in the name of Anglesey 
which has persisted in geography as the title of the island. 
The Norinan power made itself felt in Anglesey under 
Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, in 1098, and a characteris- 
tic " keep " was reared at Aber Lleinawg near Penmon. 2 

1 Bezant Lowe, The Heart of Nurthern Wales, Vol. I, pp. 123, 

2 This is fully described by Bezant Lowe, The lleart of Northern 
JTales, Vol. II, pp. 218—226. 

The Ecclesioiogy of Anglesey. 47 

Then, in the thirteenth century, came the fully developed 
mediaeval stronghold of Beaumaris, a link in the chain of 
fortresses extending from Flint and Rhuddlan, through 
Conway and Carnarvon to Criccieth and Harlech, whcse 
mighty ruins, formidable of aspect even in their decay, 
remain as evidence of the Edwardian hold on Northern 

But these successive '"conquests" were, for Anglesey, 
even more than for North Wales in general, more or less 
transient in their effects upon the life of the people, so 
that " the isle of the English " is a misnomer for a region 
that has remained consistently Welsh in sentiment and 
language, and the designation Môn Mam Cymru 1 strikes 
a truer note. The Norman church of Penmon Priory in 
its planning and its details stands in sharp contrast with 
the prevailing type of native sanctuary, and the castle of 
Edward I at Beaumaris on the fringe of the island was 
only an outpost of an English king on the border of a 
district unsubdued. 

II. — Churches of the Natiye Celtic Plan. 

To whatever preachers of the Gospel, Apostolic or 
sub-Apostolic, the first coming of Christianity to this land 
may be assigned, we may regard it as established that our 
religion was widely disseminated in Britain through the 
work of Celtic missionaries who were connected with 
Ireland and Gaul. The names of Patrick, Columba, and 
Aidan are familiar to all readers of English history in this 
connexion, and in niany a church dedication or parochial 
name in Anglesey, as in Wales generally, there are still 
preserved for us the names of the founders of the first 
Christian sanctuaries in the island, such as St. Seiriol, 
Llaniestyn, Llandegfan, Llanffinan, Llandyssilio, Llan- 

1 Giraldus Cambrensis, Iti/nerarium, II, vii. 

48 The Ecclesiology of Angtesey. 

ddeiniol-Fab, Llanbadrig, and Llaneilian. 1 Not until the 
eighth century do we meet with church dedications in our 
more 'm'odern sense of the term, when we find churches 
called after St. Michael (Llanfihangel.) — the Warrior 
Archangel, 2 as though to mark a fresh victory of the light 
of the Gospel over the powers of heathen darkness. Still 
later with the spread of Latin influence and the coming 
of the Cistercian monks did churchmen in Wales follow 
the Western custom of dedicating churches in the names 
of Biblical saints, especially of our Lady and the Apostles, 
giving rise to such names as Llanfair and Llanbedr. 3 

The method of the early Celtic missionaries was to 
work a mainland from adjacent islands. Columba crossed 
from Ireland to Iona, Aidan from Iona to Lindisfarne, 
the Holy Islands forming their stepping-stones in their 
advance to win the world for Christ. It is interesting to 
note that in Anglesey we may trace the extension of the 
like method. Early sanctuaries, from the sixth century 
onward, were placed on outlying islands at St. Seiriol, at 
Llandyssilio in the Menai Strait, by St. Cybi on Holy- 
head island, and at Llangwyfan (Fig. 1) and Llanddwyn 
on the western shore, just as, farther afield, St. Germans 
on St. Patrick's isle off the coast of the Isle of Man, 
Bardsey off Carnarvonshire, Ramsey near St. Davids, and 
Caldey off the Pembroke coast were all holy islands and 
centres from which the monastic missionaries worked. In 
such sanctuaries the devout life was fostered and the 
spirit kindled which inflamed men for their hazardous 

1 The same custom of calling the churehes after the names of 
the venerated loeal saints who were their founders obtained in the 
Celtic districts of Cornwall — where such titles as St. Madron, St. 
Gwithion and Perranzabuloe mark tlie sitcs of early oratories — 
and Brittany, as such names at St. Pabu, Lanildut and Landudec 
in Finistère testify. 

2 Rev. xii, 7. 

3 Fisher, Wehh Church Dedications in the Cymmrodorion 
Transactions, 1906-7, pp. 91, 94. 

The Ecclesioiogy o/ Anglesey. 









50 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

enterprise as pioneers, and to them the missionaries would 
return for recuperation or for refuge in times of stress 
and persecution. 1 

Celtic Christianity, being in its origin connected with 
Gaul, had an Eastern rather than a Western complexion. 
The churches of the Rhone valley traced their spiritual 
descent from Ephesus, and the great church at Arles bears 
the dedication of St. Trophime. 2 The ancient British 
Church was accordingiy bound by tradition and by in- 
herited custom to the churches of Asia rather than to the 
primatial see of the West, 3 and the structure of its sanc- 
tuaries was uninfluenced by the basilican tradition of 

(1) The early oratories of the Celtic missionary saints 
were simple rectangular chambers, such as may still be 
seen in Irish examples, and in Cornwall, where there are 
sufficient remains at Perranzabuloe (exhumed from the 
sandhills in which they had long been buried), St. 
Gwithian (lately covered once more by drifting sand), and 
St. Madron (a well-chapel) to enable us to be sure at least 
as to their ground plan. To this type the native churches 
of Anglesey, as of the less accessible parts of Wales in 
general, remained constant, and the characteristic church 
of Angiesey is a simple rectangular chamber, in its origi- 
nal form without aisle or chancel, without windows on its 
northern and western sides, without buttresses, or porch, 

' Similarly in France outlying islands were early claimed for 
the Christian faith and became famous as monastic liouses, such 
as Mont-St.-Miche] in the north, Noirmoutier on tlie Biscay shore, 
and Lerins in the Mediterranean. 

2 i.e. : Trophimus the Ephesian, a travelling companion of St. 
Paul. Acts xx, 4; xxi, 29. 

3 The argument of Colman at the Syncd of Whitby (A.D. 664) 
shows this. In defending British ecclesiastical tradition Colman 
appealed to the exainple of the Apostle St. John, who spent his 
later years ;it Ephesus. Bede, Hist. Eccles., 141, xxv. 

Thc Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 51 

and without any structure to contain a bell. The illustra- 
tion of Llanfair-yn-Neubwll (Fig. 2) will serve to show a 
typical Anglesey church as it appears to-day, the windows 



of the north side and the bell-gable at tlie west being after 
additions to the original form of the building. In area 
these churches of the early Celtic plan generally cover, 
approximately, a double square, and, fchere being no 

52 Tlie Ecclesiology of Angiesey. 

structural chancel, were divided internally by a screen 
separating the nave occupied by the congregation froin 
the sanctuary with its altar, where the priest offered the 
Holy Sacrifice out of sight of the people, just as in the 
churches of the East the solid partition of the iconastasis 
divides the ritual chancel from the body of the church. 

This primitive single-chamber plan is still seen in the 
following Anglesey churches, though in no case does the 
actual structure go back to the primitive days of the early 
Celtic church : — 

Bodedern. Llanfaethlu. 

Bodwrog. Llanfair-yn-y-Cwmmwd. 

Cerrigceinwen. Llanfair-yn-Neubwll. 

Coedana. Llanfihangel-Tre'r-Beirdd. 

Gwredog. Llanfihangel-yn-Nhywyn. 

Llanbabo. Llanfflewin. 

Llanbadrig. Llanfwrog. 

Llandrygarn . Llangwyllog. 

Llandyssilio. Llechylched. 

Llanddeiniol-Fab. Penrhos Lligwy. 

Llanddeusant. Rhosbeirio. 

Llanynghenedl. Rhoscolyn. 

Llanfachreth. Tregaian . 

In some cases churches which formerh exhibited the 
single-chamber plan have been rebuilt out of all recog- 
nition in recent times, as at Llanedwen, Llangaffo and 

The entrance to churches of this primitive plan is by 
a lateral doorway, generally in the south side of the 
structure, but occasionally the doorway is set on the north 
side, as at Llandyssilio and Llanfair-yn-y-Cwmmwd, and 
in sorne instances there are both north and south doors, as 
at Llandeusant, Llandrygarn, Llanfachreth and Llech- 
ylched, while in some churches, as at Llanfair-yn-Neubwll 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. ^^ 

and Llanfìhangel-yn-Nhywyn, which now have only a 
north door, there are traces of an original south door 
which has been blocked up. While the south side of a 
church was preferred, other things being equal, for the 
doorway, as being the warm and sunny side, the entrance 
was made on the north side if the exigences of the site de- 
manded that position, or in cases where the congregation 
would naturallý approach the church from that side, the 
placing of the doorway on the north side is thus accounted 
for in such a case as Llandyssilio, as well as its retention in 
preference to the south door which was scarcely used at 
Llanfair-yn-Neubwll and Llanfihangel-yn-Nhywyn. 

It is interesting to note that not only the Welsh 
churches of early type of planning, but the parochial 
churches of England and Wales in general, throughout 
all subsequent developments of mediseval architecture, 
remained faithful to two characteristic features which 
we have remarked in these Anglesey churches as Celtic 
features, viz., the rectangular east end and the lateral 
entrance, as distinct from the apse 1 and the western portal. 
These last are features of the Roman basilica plan, and 
became usual in Continental Romanesque architecture, 
whence they were derived by the great Gothic church 
builders of Western Europe generally. 

(2) We have next to notice some 


(a) Porches. 

The original churches do not seem to have had porches, 

1 See my paper on The Church Architecture of Wales in the 
Cymmrodorion Transaetions, 1916-7. The church of Llanfair- 
pwllgwyngyll is exceptional amongst the old churches of Wales 
in having an apse. The present hnilding is a nineteenth-centnry 
restoration, partly on the site of the old chureh, which seems to 
have had an apse (Archaeologia Cam,brensis, I, ii, 170). 


Thc Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

and many of them still have none. Convenience, however, 
naturally dictated the addition of some covered shelter at 





1 . 



■'• t- 


4 * 




. co 

the entrance doorway, especially in view of the fact that 
iii the Middle Ages the doorway, with its suggestive sym- 

Thc Ecclesiology of Anglesey. ^^ 

bolism, played its part in the ceremonial of the chnrch, 
the preparatory portion of the Baptismal service being 
performed, for example, at the church door, the aspect 
of the sacrament as the entrance to the mystical Body of 
Christ being thns appropriately typified. A south porch 
is therefore not an uncommon addition to a simple rect- 
angular church, and we have examples (some of them 
modernised) at Bodedern, Cerrigceinwen, Llanddyfnan, 
Llanbadrig, and Llanddeiniol-Fab. In construction the 
early porches were rude and simple, consisting of plain 
stone walls, with, at the outer entrance, massive timber 
uprights supporting the timbered front of a gabled roof. 
A typical instance of such porch may be seen in the south 
porch at Llaniestyn (Fig. 3). 

(b) Beìfries. 

It is somewhat difficult to determine the date when 
large bells first came to be used by the Christian Church. 
If the tradition which ascribes their invention to Paulinus 
of Nola in Campania 1 may be trusted, the origin of bells 
would reach back to about 400 a.d., but there is no definite 
evidence as to their use for about a century after that 
time. In our own country, according to Eddius the 
biographer of Wifrid, there were bell-towers belonging 
to the seventh-century church at Hexham , and the Vener- 
able Bede makes allusion to the passing-bell as a cus- 
tomary feature of the monastic life at Whitby in a story 
which he tells in connexion with the death of St. Hilda 
(680 a.d.). 2 

1 The late Latin word campana for a hell, whence the Italian 
campanile for a hell-tower, seems to imply a Campanian origin. 

2 " The same night it pleased Almighty God hy a manifest 
vision to make known her death in another monastery at a distanee 
from hers, which she had bnilt that year and is called Hachness. 
There was in that monastery a certain nun named Begn, who, 
having dedicated her rirginity to God, had served him upwards of 

56 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

The bells used in the early days of British Christianity, 
however, were small handbells which served as calls of 
the community to prayer, and as passing-bells to invite 
the faithful to supplication for the soul of the departed. 1 
Such handbells, being objects used by the saintly founders 
of churches in the exercise of their sacred functions, were 
regarded with the same kind of veneration as corporeal 
relics and came to be carefully treasured in reliquaries. 
Giraldus Cambrensis tells of the great reverence paid to 
such personal belongings of the Celtic saints, 2 and makes 
mention in particular of the pastoral staff of St. Curig at 
St. Harmons (happily still preserved), the handbell of St. 
David, 3 and the horn of St. Patric^. 1 Eomilly Allen 
considered that ecclesiastical handbells of this kind origi- 
nated in Ireland, and that their use spread thence to 
Scotland, Britain, Brittany, France,"' and Switzerland. 6 
St. Patrick's bell is preseiwed in the Museum of the Eoyal 
Irish Academy, and the model of its shrine or reliquary 
made in the eleventh century of brass set with crystals 
and jewels will be familiar to visitors to the South Kens- 

tliirty years in the monastic life. This nun, being in the dormitory 
of the sisters, heard suddenly the well-known sound of a bell in 
the air, which used to awake them and call them to prayer, when 
any one of tbem had been taken out of this world." Hìst. Eccles., 
IV, xxi. 

1 In this connexion it is worthy of note that a handbell still 
figures prominently in the University of Oxford at an academic 
funeral, when the procession is headed by the University bell-man, 
who sounds his bell at intervals en route. 

■ " Campanas namque bajulas, baculos quoque in superiori 
parte cameratos, auro et argento vel aere eontectos, aliasque hujus- 
modi sanctorum reliquias, in magna rcverentia tam Hiberniac et 
Scotiae, quam et Gwalliae populus et clerus habere solent: adeo ut 
sacramenta super haec longe inagis quam super evangelia ct 
praestare vereantur et pejerare." Itinerarium, I, 2. 

3 Itinerarium, I, 1. 4 Itinerarium, I, 2. 

5 An early bell is kept at Noyon. 

* In this country is the well-kno\vn four-sided bnll of St. Gall 
dating from the middle of the seventh century. 

The Ecdesiology of Anglesey. 57 

ington Museum. Examples of handbells still remain in 
Wales at Llanrhyddlad (Anglesey), Dolwyddelan and 
Llangwnadl (Carnaryonshire). 1 

Thus in the primitive Celtic churches there was no 
call for any structural provision for a bell, 2 but as the use 
of a larger hanging bell to call men to worship became 
general, the erection of some kind of structure for its 
accommodation was rendered necessary, and it was cus- 
tomary to set above the west wall of the church a small 
portion of walling terminating in a gable, and within an 
opening in this the bell was hung in such a way that it 
might swing at once freely and with safety. Thus the 
western bell-gable for one bell — or occasionally with 
openings for two, 3 or even for three bells 4 — naturally took 
its place as a regular feature of the typical native Welsh 
church, and is constant in Anglesey examples. 

(3) Extraneous influence and the march of historical 
events contributed in turn at later periods to 


(a) Chanceìs. 

The native church plan of a single chamber with bell- 
gable and sometimes with a lateral porch appears to have 
been continued without change until towards the close of 
the thirteenth century. From that time onward, during 
the fourteenth century, when the ancient British Church 
had, with the English Church, become absorbed into the 

1 In this category should also be included the bells of Llangws- 
tenin (Carnarvonshire) (in the Powysland Museum, Welshpool) 
and Llanrwst (Denbighshire) (in the Gwydir chapel of the church). 
See Bezant Lowe, The Heart of Northern IFales, Vol. I, pp. 396, 
et seqq. 

2 Tbe original (southern) part of the double-nave church at 
Llanrhychwyn (Carnarvonshire) is still without any feature of this 

3 As at Llanidan, Newborough and Penmynydd (Anglesey). 

4 As at Llangadwaladr (Anglesey). 


58 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

Church of the West, so as to come more directly under 
Latin intluence, a chancel as a distinct rectangular cham- 
ber to the east of the nave, which had been a regular 
feature of Western Church architecture, appears as an 
addition to the earlier Celtic plan. Amongst other influ- 
ences the coming of the Cistercian Order to Wales must 
have been a potent one in bringing the Welsh churches 
more into line with the Church of the West in general. 1 
The Cistercians were, from the twelfth century onwards, 
by far the most popular and influential in Wales of all 
the monastic Orders, and to them belonged nearly all 
the great Abbeys of the country. 2 The Order, too, was 
peculiarly fitted to help in the bringing of the Welsh 
Church into closer conformity with Western usage, 
alike in its rites and in externals, such as architectural 
features, because of its intimate connection with Welsh 
life. The Cistercian monks specially devoted themselves 
to the pursuit of agriculture and the development of local 
industries and natural resources, so that they came into 
close contact with the people of the land. Many houses 
of the Order were foundations of native Welsh princes, 
with the result that many Welshmen entered them and 
they became largely identified with national feeling and 
national causes. 3 

Examples in Anglesey of simple rectangular churches 
with chancel occur at : — 

1 The prevalence of' the name Llanfair, indicating a church 
dedication in honour of the Blessed Yirgin, in the thirteenth 
century may be taken as an indication of Cistercian influence, the 
churches of the Order having uniformly this dedication. 

2 Abbey-Cwm-Hir, Aberconway, Cymmer, Margam, Neath, 
Strata Florida, Strata Marcella, Tintern, Yalle Crucis and Whit- 
land were all Cistercian houses. 

3 On the Cistercians in Wales see further The Church Architec- 
ture of Waìes in the Cymmrodorion Transactions, 1916-7, pp. 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 59 

Llanfair-Mathafarn-Eithaf. Llanerchymedd. 

Llanfair-Pwll-Gwyngyll. Llanfechell. 

Llanfihangel-Dinsilwy. Llangristiolus. 

Llandyfrydog. Tal-y-Llyn. 

Some of these have been rebuilt, as Llaneilian (in the 
fifteenth century) and Llanerchymedd (in recent times), 
but approximately on the old foundations. 

(b) Lateral Cìiapels. 

From the early days of British Christianity down to 
the fourteenth century the native church plan in Wales 
suffered no radical change, but underwent only such slight 
modifications as have been already noted. The country 
itself was so much disturbed by internecine feuds that 
Welshmen had little opportunity or inclination for the 
practice of any but the elementary and necessary arts of 
life, and by intermittent strife with pow T erful English 
neighbours the country was so cut off from the influences 
of Western Christendom that the great Gothic develop- 
ment of architecture in the thirteenth and fourteenth cen- 
turies had only occasional and sporadic effects in Wales. 
Then with the opening of the fifteenth century began a 
period of utter misery which clouded nigh upon a hundred 
years with disastrous results, when Owain Glyndwr raised 
his dragon standard with its accompaniment of flaming 
torches and glittering spears, and left a track of desola- 
tion even more ruthless than medÌ8eval ethics apprcwed. 1 

1 In popular story the birth of Owain Glyndwr was heralded by 
fitting portents : — 

. . . . " At my nativity 

The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes, 

Of burning cressets ; and at my birth 

The frame and huge foundation of the earth 

Shah'd like a coward." 
(Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I, Act III, Sc. 1.) In Wales the 

P 2 

6o The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

Great Abbeys did not escape the general ruin for Abbey- 
Cwm Hir felt Owain's pitiless hand, and Strata Florida 
was burnt in no less ruthless revenge by the English king 
for its support of Glyndwr. From end to end, except in 
Anglesey, 1 the peninsula of Lleyn and western Pembroke- 
shire, Wales lay bleeding and desolate, and in the survey 
of old Leland, made about a century later, such phrases 
as " denour'd by Glindour ", " defayced by Owain Glin- 
dour ", " the ruin is ascribed to Owain Glindour " occur 
like a refrain. The feeling of those who were involved in 
the ruin resultant upon Owain's red ravage is reflected in 
the old lines : — 

While quarrels' rage did nourish ruinous rack, 
And Owen Glendore set bloodie broils abroach, 
Full many a town was spoyled and put to sack 
And clear consumed to countries' foul reproach. 
Great castles razed, fair buildings burnt to dust, 
Such revel reigned that men did live by lust. 

But in the last quarter of the fifteenth century this 
dark time of desolation and depopulation was succeeded 
by a period of unprecedented peace and prosperity for 
Wales. The accession of Henry VII, the grandson of 
Owen Tudor of Penmynydd in Anglesey, added to the fact 
that he landed in Wales, and was accompanied by a grow- 
ing force of his fellow-countrymen in his progress to the 
victory of Bosworth field, really reconciled the Welsh to 
union with the Saxon. With a Tudor on the throne of 
united England and Wales began an era of settlement and 

story was told that at Owain's birth the horses of Gruffydd Vychan 
his fatlier were found standing in their stables up to their fetlocks 
in blood. 

1 Many of Glyndwr's soldiers, headed by the Tudors of Pen- 
mynydd, came from Anglesey, and about 2,000 of its inhabitants 
were in arms towards the close of his wars, but no fighting seems 
to have taken place in the island during the whole of his 6tormy 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 61 

content at home with peace upon the border-land. For 
increasing congregations more space was required in the 
small Welsh churches which had remained constant to the 
early type. 

In the later half of the fifteenth century and in the 
earlier part of the sixteenth another cause also contributed 
to the extension of church fabrics. The period was marked 
by a special increase of devotion to our Lady, 1 and a 
second altar was required for the due expression of this 
devotion — a Lady Chapel must be built. 2 

This two-fold need was met in Northern Wales by the 
addition of a lateral chapel to the original structure, and 
some Anglesey churches afford good examples of such 
late fifteenth century or early sixteenth century chapels. 
These are in most cases gabled so that the roof-ridge runs 
at right-angles to that of the original church, and thus 
they have in an exterior view the appearance of transepts, 
as seen in the illustration of Llaniestyn (Fig. 3). They 
are set, as a rule, so that their east wall is flush, or nearly 
so, with the east wall of the main structure, and generally 
have an east window almost as large as that of the original 
church. Occasionally, as at Gwalchmai, a lateral chapel 
is gabled east and west, so that the ridge of its roof is 
parallel to that of the original church, giving the appear- 
ance externally of a short added aisle. 

South chapels have been added in this way to the 
churches at Llanbeulan, Llanfair-yn-Nghornwy, Llan- 

1 This is noted, with illustrative quotations, by the Rev. H. 
Elvet Lewis in his paper on " Welsh Catholic Foetry in the 
Fifteenth century," Cymmrodorion Transactions, 1911-2, pp. 24, 
25, and by Dr. Hartwell Jones in Celtic Britain and the Filgrim 
Movement, pp. 355 et seqq. 

2 Similarly in the period just before the Reformation many 
additional altars were erected in English parish churches, though 
an extension of the fabric was seldom necessary, the aisles afford- 
ing the requisite space. 

6 2 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

iestyn, Llantrisant, Llechcynfarwy, Pentraeth and Tref- 

North chapels occur at Bodwryd, Gwalchmai, Llan- 
eugrad, Llangeinwen, 1 Llansadwrn, 2 Penmynydd and 

In some cases chapels were thrown out to north and 
south, giving an appearance of cruciform plan to the whole 
building, as at Llanallgo, Llandegfan, Llanddona, Llan- 
fihangel Ysceifiog and Llangadwaladr. 

In adjacent Carnaiwonshire the old churches received 
similar treatment at the same period, a south chapel being 
added at Caer-Hûn, Capel Curig, Dolwyddelan, Llanbedr- 
y-Cennin and Llanfaglan, while Llangelynin has received 
the addition of a north chapel. Chapels both on the north 
and south occur at Gyffin, Llanberis, Llanaelhaiarn, 
Llanfihangel-yn-Rûg and Llanllyfni. 3 

Sometimes the added lateral chapel was so large in its 
dimensions as to become a second and parallel nave, 
divided from the original structure by a range of pillars 
and arches running along the centre of the completed 
building. Examples of this double-nave plan occur in 
Anglesey at Aberffraw and Llanidan (the latter now in 
ruins), and the like arrangement appears also in Carnar- 
vonshire at Aberdaron, Llanengan, Llaniestyn, Llan- 
rhychwyn and Trefriw. But the type found especial 
favour in Denbigh and Flint which afford many instances 

1 The illustration of Llangeinwen (Fig. 4) shows an unrestored 
Anglesey interior. The roof-timbers were in an advanced state 
of decay, and the church is now being renovated under the expert 
supervision of Mr. Harold Hughes of Bangor. 

1 Rebuilt in recent times out of recognition. 

3 These Carnarvonshire churches have been well described by 
Harold Hughes and Herbert L. North in " The Old Churches of 
Snowdu7tia■ ,, In cases where the chapels are of Post-Reformation 
date they were not intended for additional altars, but only for 
extra accommodation. See Herbert L. North " The Old Churches 
of Arllechwedd," pp. 67, 68. 


r <i 






The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 63 

of it, so that it has come to be regarded as particularly 
characteristic of the Vale of Clwyd and its neighbourhood. 
In Denbighshire we have double-nave churches at :- 

Abergele Llanfair-dyffryn-Clwyd 

Chirk Llanfair-Talhaiarn 

Whitchurch by Denbigh Llanfwrog 

Llanarmon-yn-Ial Llangynhafal 

Llandoget Llan-Nefydd 

Llandrillo-yn-Ehos Llanrhaiadr-yn-Cinmerch 

Llandyrnog Llansilin 

Llanelian-yn-Ehos Llanynys 

Llanelidan Llansannan, 

and in Flintshire at : — 

Caerwys Ehuddlan 

Cilcain St. Asaph íparish church) 

Hope Tryddyn. 



At the eastern extremity of Anglesey there flourished 
from the sixth century onward the monastic settlements 
of St. Seiriol on Priestholm and Penmon on the adjacent 
promontory. The two establishments were closely con- 
nected in their origin and are generally mentioned to- 
gether in documents, but priority of foundation should 
probably be assigned to the island sanctuary on Priest- 
holm, whose founder Seiriol was a fìrm friend of Cybi of 
Holyhead. Priestholm like Ynys Enlli (Bardsey) off the 
extremity of Lleyn, as isles of the saints who laid the 
foundations of the Christian Church in the land, came to 
be regarded as specially sacred. Men took refuge in their 
peaceful seclusion during frequently recurring times of 
trouble, and the bones of countless pilgrims were laid 

64 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

there, as in a fitting lodging-place on the spirits' journey 
to the Isles of the Blest. 1 

We gather from the Brut y Tywysogion that Penmon 
was laid waste in 968, 2 and the earlier buildings there and 
on Priestholm probably perished in the raid there referred 
to, for neither at Penmon nor at St. Seiriol is there any 
structure now remaining which can be assigned to a date 
earlier than the Norman period, and the two most inter- 
esting churches belonging to the closely allied monastic 
establishments are definitely Norman in character, pre- 
senting in their plan a marked contrast to the prevailing 
Celtic type of Anglesey church. The building of these 
Norrnan churches can scarcely have been undertaken dur- 
ing the transient occupation by Hugh Lupus, Earl of 
Chester, in the last decade of the eleventh century, but 
their erection was probably the outcome of the more 
settled period that ensued upon the retirement of Lupus, 
when Gruffydd ap Cynan, through the intervention of 
Magnus of Norway and his Vikings, came into permanent 
possession of Lupus' fortress at Aber-Lleinawg, and later 
appointed his son Idwal as Prior of Penmon (1130). 

Penmon church is a cruciform structure with central 
tower, whose original short chancel 3 was considerably 
lengthened, probably in the thirteenth century, and after- 
wards rebuilt in the fifteenth century. The north tran- 

1 Of Priestholm Giraldus writes : " quam solum eremitae labore 

manuum viventes et Deo servientes inhabitabant Insula 

ecclesiastica, propter copiam sanctorum, quorum ibi corpora 
jacent," and of Bardsey he says : " in ea, ut fertur, infinita 
sanctorum sepulta sunt corpora : ibique jacere testantur corpus 
beati Danielis Banchorensis episcopi." Itinerarium, II, vii. 

2 " In the same year came Makt ab Marallt to Anglesey, and 
devastated Penmon, which previous]y was the fairest spot in all 
Anglesey." Myfyrian Archaeoloç/y, ii, p. 493. 

3 The chancels of Norman churches are frequently an approxi- 
mate square 011 the plan, as e.g. at Stewkley (Bucks), St. Mary-de- 
Lode, Gloucester, Darenth (Kent), and Cassington (Oxon). 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 


sept as we now see it is modern, having been rebuilt upon 
the old foundations in 1855, but the nave and south tran- 
sept have retained their characteristic Norman form and 
features, this transept having an ornamental arcading 
running round the interior of its south and west walls 
with the chevron mouldings so commonly employed for 
the adornment of arches in the style. 1 

5. Penmon Tower. 

St. Seiriol shows a church built upon the same lines in 
the main as at Penmon ; it has long been a ruin and a 
cottage has been erected on the site of the south transept, 
but the foundations alike of the earlier square chancel and 
of its later extension may be traced. 

1 A miniature arcade was often employed as a decorative feature 
of the internal wall-surface of an important Norman church, as at 
Peterborough Cathedral and Stow (Lincs) in the chancel. 


The Ecclesiology of Anglesey, 

Both these churches have a central tower, an arrange- 
ment usual for Norman cruciform churches, 1 and not un- 
common even where there are no transepts, 2 and both are 
finished with a blunt four-sided spire of stone. This is a 
remarkable feature, for most of the Norman towers of 
Great Britain have lost their original finish, and in these 
two Anglesey examples we are enabled to see the char- 
acteristic Norman form of tower roofing, akin to the short 
four-sided spires of stone, though a good deal ruder in their 

6. Penmon Tympanum. 

execution, that one comes across in the parallel develop- 
ment of architecture in Normandy in such examples as 
the churches at Thaon, Haute Allemague, Ver and Eosel 
in the Department of Calvados. The illustration (Fig. 5) 
shows the central tower and spire at Penmon, with belfry- 
lights of usual Norman character, consisting of two small 

1 As in the practieally unaltered examples at Portchester 
(Hants) Old Shoreham (Sussex), and North Newbald (Yorks). 

2 As at Stewkley (Bucks), Iffley and Cassington (Oxon), and 
Studland (Dorset). 

The Ecclesiology oj Anglesey. 


round-headed lights separated by a shaft. The lights 011 
the south and west sides of the tower at St. Seiriol were 
evidently of like design, though now niuch decayed, but 
those on the north and east sides are plain and small 
single openings. 

Another feature of great interest reniains to be noted 
in the Norman work of Penmon — the south doorway of 
the nave, with its carved tympanum (Fig. 6). The en- 

7. Llanbadarn-Fawr (Radnor) Tympanum. 

closing arch of a Norman doorway was regularly semi- 
circular, and in cases where the opening for the door itself 
was rectangular the wall-space between this and the en- 
closing arch offered opportunity for the elaborate carved 
work in which the Norman builders delighted. 1 Some- 

1 In the larger Norman doorways in Wales the opening for 
the door follows the line of the enclosing moulded arch, so that 
there is no tympanum, as at the west doorway of Strata Florida 
Abbey and the north and south doorways of Llandaff Cathedral. 
These are late in the style, as is also the west doorway at Llandaff 
which has a depending tympanum the centre of which is occupied 
by a statue of St. Teilo in episcopal yesture. 

68 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

times the tymparmm would be covered with a diaper 
pattern, 1 but figure sculpture of a conventional character 
and somewhat rudely executed, akin to the carved adorn- 
ment of many Norman fonts, 2 often occupied this posi- 
tion. Carved Norman tympana are extremely rare in 
Wales, but the south door at Penmon has within its con- 
taining arch a dragonesque monster with a border (a good 
deal worn) of interlacing pattern. This tympanum has a 
parallel in the fine example at Llanbadarn-Fawr (Rad- 
norshire) (Fig. 7), where two monsters face one another, 
and between them is set a plant — apparently the lily-pot 
emblematic of the mystery of the Incarnation. 3 This 
subject of a tree, or conventional foliage, between two 
monsters seems to have been a favourite one with Norman 
workers, and it appears in elaborately carved tympana at 
Dinton (Bucks) and Ashford-on-the-Water (Derbyshire). 

Norman work is comparatively rare in Wales as a 
whole, and the few traces of it in Anglesey and Carnar- 
vonshire which may be observed at Aberffraw, Llaneilian 
and Aberdaron, besides some round-headed doorways at 
Llanbedr-y-Cennin and elsewhere, may be due to the in- 
fluence of the Priory at Penmon. 4 

" Priestholme et Penmon " are, as has been already 
noted, generally referred to in documents as one Priory 
and are classed as belonging to the Benedictine Order by 
Dugdale, who gives 1221 as the date of a foundation here 

1 As at Y\'old Newton (Yorks), Tissington (Derbyshire) and 
Eberington (Glos). 

: As at Avebury (Wilts) and Hook Norton (Oxon). 

1 The lily-pot, standing for tbe purity of tbe Blessed Yirgin is 
normally inoluded in sculptured or painted representations of the 
Annunciation, and appears as a symbol in the work of all periods, 
as upon an early eross at Sancreed (Cornwall), upon the tower at 
St. Austell (Cornwall) of* the fifteenth century, and upon a fifteenth- 
century miserere at Tong (Salop). 

4 Ibis is suggested by Harold Hugbes and Herbert L. North in 
Tìte Old Churches of Snowdonia, p. 25. 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey 


by Llewelyn ap Iorwerth (the Great), but the monastery 
eventually came under the Augustinian Order, deeds run- 
ning in the name of the Prior and Canons, in whose 
possession it remained until the Dissolution. 


Apart from the churches of the great religious houses, 
amongst which the Cistercian Abbeys in particular pre- 

—r\ — 

\ ~"°nni|ir>. 

8. Llanfair-yn-Neubwll, Eastwindow. 

sent fine examples of Transition from Norman to Gothic 
and of " Early English ", Wales in general, as has been 
already noted, 1 has comparatively little to show of the 
great development of Gothic architecture which, during 
the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, was taking place 
in Western Europe generally, and in which England took 
its full share. 

The great Edwardian castle at Beaumaris belongs to 
the military architecture of the later part of the thirteenth 
century, but exhibits in the five lancet lights at the east 

2 See above p. 59, and cf. The Church Architecture of Wales 
§ 5, in the Cymmrodorio-n Transactions 1916-7. 


The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

end of its chapel characteristic English work of the period 
< ^. i.— ,„ . very finely executed, finding a parallel 

in the beautiful little chapel at Con- 
way Castle known as Queen Eleanor's 

In the native parish churches of 
Anglesey there is little noteworthy work 
of the "Early English" or "Decorated" 
styles, but during the centuries under 
review old churches were repaired 
and windows were sometimes inserted. 
Some of these windows are of four- 
teenth century date and consist of two 
lights with an opening above consti- 
tuting a somewhat rude attempt at a 
traceried window, as seen, e.g., in the 
east window at Llanfair-yn-Neubwll 
(Fig. 8). 

Beaumaris church has the best exe- 
cuted " Decorated ' work (fourteenth 
century) in the island. In its arrange- 
ment — a nave with aisles and cleres- 
tory, a chancel and western tower 1 — it 
follows the usual English plan of the 
period for a parochial church, but two 
outstanding features deserve special re- 
mark. The clerestory, somewhat excep- 
tionally, has for lights a range of quatre- 
foiled circles in place of the more usual 
pointed windows of the period (Fig. 9). 
Circular windows occur in the clerestory 

1 The chancel was rebuilt late in the fifteenth or early in the 
sixteenth century, and the upper part of the tower is of still later 


Tke Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 


at Southwell Minster (Norman) and after this example 
lights of circular form were sometimes adopted during the 
prevalence of the Decorated style. In some cases these 
were plain circles, as at Alkham (Kent), but more often 
they were cusped in quatrefoil form as we see them at 
Beaumaris. Similar clerestorv windows are found at Seaton 

10. Beaumaris, Tracery of aisle windows. 

(Rutland), Kingsland and Pembridge (Hereford), Pid- 
dinghoe (Sussex), Garsington (Oxon) and elsewhere, and 
this manner of treating the clerestory found especial 
favour with the Norfolk church builders in the later half 
of the fourteenth century, as may be seen at Ingham, 
Stalham, Ormsby St. Margaret, Filby, Rollesby and a good 
many other churches of that county. Foliated circular 
clerestory windows also occur again in North Wales at 


The Ecclesiology of Angiesey. 

Conway, where, as at Beaumaris, English influence is 
marked. The clerestory assumed its present position at 
Conway in 1872, when the roof of the nave was consider- 
ably raised, but the circular clerestory lights were copied 
from two original ones which remained. A further feature 
about the clerestory at Beaumaris should not escape our 
notice, viz., the later insertion of a plain three-light win- 
dow, of late fìfteenth century type, near its eastern end 
(see Fig. 9). This occurs on both the north and south sides 

11. Canterbury Cathedral, Window tracery in Archbishop 
Meopham's Chapel. 

and the insertion was made that additional light might be 
thrown upon the rood-screen with its figures, the fifteenth 
century being the period when most of the splendid rood- 
screens were erected in our churches. An exact parallel 
to this treatment of the clerestory at Beaumaris may be 
seen at Market Overton (Eutland), where the regular 
series of two-light traceried clerestory windows is inter- 
rupted near its eastern end by the insertion of a fifteenth 
century three-light window for the purpose of affording 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. y^ 

extra light within the church at the spot where the rood- 
screen was erected. Analogous examples are found also 

A second notable feature about the fourteenth century 
work at Beaumaris lies in the pattern of the tracery of the 
aisle windows (Fig. 10). This identical form occurs also 
in the tracery of a window at the north end of the Yaynol 
chapel at Llanbeblig (Carnarvonshire), and, oddly enough, 
is of a distinctly Kentish type. A very close parallel to 
it occurs in a window of Archbishop Meopham's chapel 
in Canterbury Cathedral (Fig. 11). 




When a Welshman in the person of Henry Tudor had 
been seated upon the English throne the unsettled life of 
centuries past came to an end and Wales was at peace 
with herself and became reconciled to England. The 
period after Henry's accession was, accordingly, an era of 
great building activity throughout Wales, and during the 
reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII more churches were 
built, or rebuilt, or received additions 1 than at any period 
since the erection of the primitive churches on the plan of 
the oratories of the native saints. Thus it has come about 
that the churches of rural Wales, generally spealdng, 
present an early type of plan and elevation in outline, 
with architectural detail characteristic of the close of the 
fifteenth century, or of the opening of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, 2 while the dominant stvle of architecture in the 

1 The custom of adding lateral chapels to the earlier churches 
at this time has been treated above, p. 61. 

- Windows and doorways have frecjuently been remodelled, or 
new windows inserted, late in the fifteenth century, and to this 
period belongs the rectangular window of three cinquefoiled (or 

74 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

greater parochial churches of Wales is the latest develop- 
ment of Gothic, named " Perpendicular ", which prevailed 
in England throughout the fifteenth century, 1 and that 
not in its best and most vigorous form, but more often in 
the somewhat degenerate and debased character which 
marked the decline of the style on the eve of the Refor- 

The best and most remarkable work of this style in 
Anglesey is seen at Llaneilian and Holyhead. 

Llaneilian (Fig. 12) has the proportions of an earlier 
church, having been rebuilt on the old foundations of the 
twelfth century, but now appears as a nave and chancel 
in fine Perpendicular style with battlemented parapets 
and buttresses terminated by crocketed pinnacles. 2 The 
work is similar to the contemporary work in the larger 
cruciform church at Clynnog-Fawr (Carnaiwonshire), and 
will bear comparison with the best style of the time as 
seen in an English parish church. A feature of peculiar 
interest at Llaneilian is the detached chapel of St. Eilian, 
which lies off the south-east angle of the nave and has a 
different orientation from that of the main building. This, 
though in its present form dating from the fifteenth cen- 
tury, occupies the site of the original oratory of St. Eilian 
and has been connected at a later time with the church by 
a passage. When the twelfth-century church was erected 
a new building was planned here at a little distance from 

trefoilecl) lights, which forms so frequent a feature of churches of 
the native type in Anglesey and elsewhere in Welsh Wales. 

1 Leland in the early sisteenth century notes that churches ex- 
hibiting fine work had only been built recently. Thus of Clynnog- 
Fawr (Carnarvonshire) he writes, " the church that is now there 
with cross aisles is almost as big as St. Davids, but it is of new 
\vork . . . the fairest church in all Carnarvonshire, as better than 
Bangor." Leland's Itinerary, ed. Toulmin Smith, pp. 52, 86. 

2 Buttro.sses are regularhy absent from native work. and do not 
occur at Clynnog, except in the tower. 

Tke Ecclesiology of Anglesey 


the first church of St. Eilian instead of being built upon 
its foundations, as has happened in the majority of cases, 








r HT-T^- 

the original church thus surviving as a detached chapel. 
A most interesting parallel to this is met with at Clynnog, 

g 2 

j6 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

where the large church was built at a little distance from 
St. Beuno's oratory, and the oratory itself was rebuilt, 
soon after the completion of the great church, 1 near its 
old site, and was connected, at a still later date, by a 
passage to the south doorway of the tower, near which it 

Holyhead is a large cruciform church whose architec- 
ture is for the most part typical of the fìnal stage of the 
decaying Perpendicular style, but with some remarkable 
detail in its adornment. 

Most striking of all is the elaborate carving around the 
inner doorway of the well-proportioned and vaulted south 
porch 'Fig. 13). The whole of the wall above the doorway 
is panelled, a treatment of wall-surface not unusual in 
churches of the Perpendicular style, 2 but the design here 
resembles rather that of a greatly extended tympanum. 
The ornament is elaborate in its conception, but unsym- 
metrical in arrangement, and so lavish as to be over- 
crowded and in places cramped. In execution it is some- 
what clumsy. The openings in the scheme of tracery are 
for the most part cusped, but in the outer containing arch 
and in the third row of vertical panelling from the top 
occur the rather unpleasing cuspless forms, which consti- 
tute one of the sure signs of degeneration in Perpendicular 
tracery. 3 To the right and left above the doorway are 
blazoned upon large shields the arms of Llywarch ap 
Bran, a benefactor of the church — a chevron between 

1 The older chapel of St. Beuno was still standing when Leland 
visited Clynnog, and this fixes a sixteenth century date for the 
rehuilding of the chapel in its present form. 

3 The wall above the doorway in the north porch at Long Sutton 
(Lincs.) is covered with rectangular panelling characteristic of 
fifteenth-century style. 

3 See below on window tracery at Beaumaris, p. 84, 

The Ecclesiology of Angíesey. 


three choughs or crows, while the centre is occupied by a 
niche above which rises a tall canopy. Within this niche 
is a sculptured representation, in the conventional man- 


13. Holyhead, South doorway. 

ner, of the Holy Trinity. The Eternal Father is crowned 
and seated in majesty, with the right hand raised in bene- 
diction, and supporting between His knees the Christ 

78 Tke Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

upon the Cross, while above, under the shadow of the 
canopy of the niche, hovers the Holy Dove with outspread 
wings. 1 In the centre of the mouldings immediately 
above the doorway a large heart stands out noticeably in 
bold relief. The significance of this symbol is not quite 
certain. It may stand for " the Sacred Heart ", 2 devotion 
to which was one of the many popular cults of the century 
before the Eeformation, or perhaps it may have been set 
in this especially prominent position as a symbolic invita- 
tion ' ' Sursum Corda ' ' , addressed to worshippers as they 
entered the church by this — the principal — door. The 
sculpture of the whole of this remarkable work, though 
late in date, is singularly archaic in feeling and expression. 
This applies more especially to the figures of saints and 
bishops, with accompanying tabernacle work, extending 
down the jambs of the doorway, where the execution is 
rude, verging on clumsiness ; the large crockets, too, sur- 
rounding the head of the doorway are so awkward as to 
be positively ugly. As a scheme of external wall-decora- 
tion this Holyhead doorway is only paralleled at St. Mary 
Magdalene, Taunton, a work approximately of the same 
date, for this latter church was consecrated in 1524. The 
whole exterior of the church is there panelled and the 
porch front has figure sculpture in niches, the whole in- 
spired by the same archaic feeling, and executed in like 

1 Similar representations of the Sacred Trinity occur on the 
canopy of the Black Prince's tomb at Canterbury Cathedral, on 
the font at Staple (Kent), in an alabaster fragment found at 
Madeley (Salop) and in the highest position amongst the statuary 
upon the west face of the tower of St. Austell (Cornwall) built 
late in the fifteenth century. A notable example of the like kind 
is found in stained glass of the fifteenth century at Llanrhychwyn 
(Carnarvonshire). In some cases the symbolic Dove is set upon 
the breast of the Father as though proceeding from His mouth 
and hovering over the head of Christ crucified. 

2 The present Vicar of Holyhead, the Rev. T. J. Rowlands, is 
inclined to accept this interpretation. 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 


80 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

comparatively rude manner, which are notable features of 
the work at Holyhead. 

Further figure-sculpture of like archaic type 1 occurs 
again in the parapet of the south transept at Holyhead 
(Fig. 14). Beginning at the west end of this parapet we 
see first the figure of a man with four arms and below him 
a man leading or driving a beast. These may symbolise 
in turn the strength of man and his dominion over crea- 
tion (or over the powers of evil). Next we note the dragon 
emblem of Wales and below it a very conventional form 
of tree between two beasts (apparently lions). This last 
looks like a reminiscence of a theme that frequently ap- 
pears upon Norman tympana, where two monsters face 
one another with a conventional tree between them. 2 In 
the centre of the parapet appears a demi-angel with out- 
stretched wings, similar to the figures in the hood-mould- 
ing of the south door, with, below, a large mitred head 
which has a kneeling figure of small scale on either side 
of it. Next we have conventional flowers above a coat of 
arms with supporters, these being on the dexter side a 
lion and on the sinister side a dragon. The shield thus 
supported is bordered, and charged with a plain cross. In 
the last, or easternmost, compartment of this parapet we 
see more conventional flowers, with, below them, an ex- 
tension of the quatrefoil panelling which runs as an orna- 
mental band beneath the whole range of figure-sculpture. :! 

The church of Llanidan, now in ruins and superseded 

1 Figure-sculpture of the fifteenth century was for the niost 
part delicate in execution and natural or life-like in its expression. 
The sculpture under consideration seems to hark back to a much 
earlier and conventional type, such as we find on Norman tympana 
or fonts. - See above, p. 68. 

3 It is open to question whether these figures occupy altogether 
the positions originally intended for them ; some of the panelling 
has obviously been disarranged, and the present disposition of the 
figure-sculpture of the south transept may be due to a " restora- 
tion " of 1720. 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 


in the last century by a hideous structure near to the 
hamlet of Bryn-Siencyn, has still remaining a good late 
íìfteenth-century range of pillars and arches, which divided 
its twin naves, and in the west bay of the church, still 





15. Beaumaris, Tracery of east window. 

covered by a roof, are some remnants of very good Per- 
pendicular tracery. 1 

At Beaumaris the chancel was reconstructed in late 

1 Tlie excellence of the work at this church is probably due to its 
connexion with the Priory of Beddgelert. 


The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 
















The Ecclesiology of Anglesey 














— >. 



— Cû 
















84 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

Perpendicular style. Its large east window of five lights 
is without cusps either in its lights or in the tracery above 
them, and its head is practically semi-circular in form 
(Fig. 15). The omission of cusps to lights and tracery and 
a reversion to semi-circular or segmental forms of arch 
were alike signs of the latest and decaying stage of the 
style. Both features appear also in the much less pleasing 
four-light window inserted about the same time at the 
east end of the south aisle (Fig. 16). This type of window 
tracery is characteristic of the late Perpendicular churches 
of Cheshire and Lancashire and overflowed thence into 
Northern Wales. The Beaumaris windows have a strong 
family likeness to examples at Weaverham (Cheshire) 
(Fig. 17) or Prestwich (Lancs.) (Fig. 18), and cuspless 
lights of the sixteenth century appear also at Bangor 
Cathedral and Llandegai (Carnarvonshire). Eound-headed 
arches in the latest Gothic were not uncommon. They 
occur at St. Nicholas, Gloucester, and in the large south 
transept window at Thaxted (Essex), but are especially 
characteristic of late Perpendicular work in Cheshire and 
Lancashire, as at Bunbury and Malpas (Cheshire) and in 
the aisle windows of the parish church of St. Peter at 
Burnley (Lancs.) (Fig. 19). In North Wales similar in- 
stances of round-headed windows are found at Hope and 
Llanrwst (Denbighshire), and the wide arch at the east 
side of the crossing at Holyhead, forming the entrance to 
the chancel, is also of this form. 

Anglesey Towers. 

The fifteenth century was a great tower-building era 
throughout England generally, very many being built to 
accommodate the peals of bells which parishes were then 
so eager to possess, so that the characteristic English 
pinnacled tower belongs to the Perpendicular style of this 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 


















86 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

period. After the coming of the Tudors to the English 
throne we find that towers were erected in some parts of 
Wales where hitherto the native towerless church had 
held the field. With the exception of the Norman central 
towers at St. Seiriol and Penmon, the comparatively few 
church towers of Anglesey belong, accordingly, to the 
sixteenth century and after, or were raised, as at Beau- 
maris, upon the lower stage of an earlier tower. The 
poverty of design which marks these towers may be attri- 
buted to several causes. In the first place the type of tower 
imported belonged to the last phase of a decaying style. 
Then, again, distance from the English border militated 
against their being influenced by fine examples from 
which a pattern might be talcen, 1 and they were obviously 
the work of native designers and craftsmen. 

The Anglesey towers are unbuttressed after the tradi- 
tional manner of native work. 2 Their battlements arc 
coarse and rude, as at Beaumaris (Fig. 20), Llandegfan 
(Fig. 21), Llanfechell (Fig. 22), Holyhead (Fig. 23) and 
Llanerchymedd (Fig. 24), and lacldng in the mouldings 
and finish found in the battlemented parapets of the 
churches at Llaneilian (Fig. 12) and Holyhead (Fig. 1 1 1. 
The belfry lights tend to be featureless apertures, as at 
Beaumaris (Fig. 20), and especially so at Holyhead (Fig. 
23). Angle-pinnacles, where they occur, are of ungrace- 
ful detail, as at Beaumaris (Fig. 20), or stunted in appear- 

1 The Anglesey towers stand in marked contrast with the beauti- 
ful towers at Gresford and Wrexham (Denbighshire), Nortliop an<l 
Mold (Flint) — all late in the Perpendicular style — which are in no 
respect inferior to the best English work of the time. 

2 The typical Welsh tower of the Cardigan Bay coast, South 
Pembrokeshire and the Bristol Channel shore, of a semi-military 
type, and strongly influenced by military arcliitecture, owing to 
their prime purpose of a refuge or defenca, is also unbuttressed, 
and in Cornwall a characteristic local type of tower is without 

T/ie Ecclesiology of Angiesey. 87 

ance and set as though diseonnected with the parapet on 
which they stand, as at Llandegfan (Fig. 21). 

The tower at Llandegfan dates from 1811 and has the 
stepped battlements frequent in Irish work, and occurring 
in this part of Wales also upon the towers at Llanbeblig 1 
and Llandrillo-yn-Bhos (Carnaiwonshire). 2 

At Llaneilian and Holyhead (Figs. 12 and 23) there 
are no pinnacles, but the towers are finished with a blunt 
four-sided roof, overhanging at Llaneilian, but rising 
from within the battlement at Holyhead, after the early 
pattern of Penmon and St. Seiriol. 

The Holyhead tower (Fig. 23) was erected early in 
the seventeenth century 3 and is oblong in plan, with its 
greater measurement from north to south. In this it is 
similar to the tower at Conway. In the case of a cruci- 
form church it was not unnatural that an oblong tower 
should sometimes be raised above the crossing, for when 
the nave and chancel were wider than the transepts the 
measurement of the central tower would be greater from 
north to south than from east to west, and we have ex- 
amples of the kind in all styles, from the pre-Conquest 
Romanesque of Jarrow-on-Tyne to the expiring Gothic of 
Bath Abbey. An exaggerated case occurs at Stanley St. 
Leonard (Glos.), where the tower is as much as ten feet 
longer from north to south than it measures from west to 
east. Oblong towers at the west end of a church, as at 
Holyhead and Conway, are also occasionally met with, 

1 Dating in its npper part from the sixteenth century onward. 

2 In South Wales we meet with the stepped form of tower 
hattlement at Llanarth and Llanwnen (Cardigan), at Pemhrey 
(Carmarthen) and at Ewenny (Glam.). Three of the "Welsh gabled 
towers have their gables stepped, viz. : Llannor (Carnarronshire), 
Llanrian (Pem.) and Llanmadoc in Gower (Glam.). 

3 Th? date upon a stone in the west face of the tower is illegible, 
but Mr. Edward Owen, F.S.A., has found a note in an eighteenth- 
century MS. in the British Museum which determines the date 1636. 


The Ecclesiology of Anglesey 

i rd"l n--f'/- c i v -'' 


•/rf*hr/ rr 

~~M : JjT riv . 
















The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 89 

though the same structural reason for the peculiarity does 
not apply, as at Bedale (Yorks), Bodiam (Sussex>, and 
Bwelme (Oxon) — all in the late Perpendicular style — and 
in a Cornish group of late towers an oblong plan was 
deliberately adopted, as at South Petherwin, Falmouth, 
St. Mabe, St. Mawgan-in-Meneage, St. Anthony-in- 
Meneage, and Euan Major. 

The towers of Llanfechell (Fig. 22) and Llaneilian 
(Fig. 12) recall in their aspect the semi-military towers 
which set the type for the towers of the west and south 
coasts of Wales, the openings being mere slits or loop- 
holes. Llanfechell tower is heavily battlemented and 
crowned by a short stone octagonal spire of the sixteenth 
century. This little spire is markedly convex in outline, 
imparting to it almost a sugar-loaf appearance. It was 
usual to give a slight entasis to spires, but sometimes, as 
in this case, this was so exaggerated as to mar to some 
extent the effect of a spire. 1 

The tower at Llanerchymedd (Fig. 24) has been over- 
restored, but retains the unusual provision that was here 
made for the accommodation of an exterior bell, which is 
hung within a gable that rises from the centre of the 
eastern parapet of the tower. A small bell — over and 
above the bells which were within the tower — was com- 
monly rung in the Middle Ages at the Sanctus in the 
Mass, and at the Elevation of the Host, to notify the 
completion of the Consecration. Hence it has been gener- 
all} 7 called the Sanctus bell. The bell whose function it 
was to announce publicly the most sacred moments of the 
chief service of the Church was naturally hung in a 
position from which its sound might be widely heard. 
Accordingly, in an ordinary parochial church a special 

1 As at Glinton (Northants), Caythorpe and Welbourne (Lincs), 
and — an extreme case — at Gilmorton (Leics). 


9 o 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

little gable or turret for the Sanctus bell was erected over 
the east end of the nave just above the entrance to the 
chancel. Sometimes this sanctus-bell turret over the 
chancel arch was elaborated into a graceful spirelet of 


24. Llanerchymedd, Tower. 
stone so as to become an imposing feature of the exterior 
of the church as at Walpole St, Peter (Norfolk) and Mells 
(Somerset), and this became the fashion in a group of 
churches on the Wilts and Gloucestershire border, being 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 


found at Wanborough, Castle Eaton, South Marston and 
Burton (Wilts) and at Barnwood (Glos). Earely the extra 
bell was placed in some other position on the body of the 
church, as at Southwold (Suffolk) — upon the centre of the 
roof-ridge — or at Methwold (Norfolk) — upon the outer 
angle at the east end of the south aisle. In the eastern 
counties it became quite a regular custom to erect a 
special fléche for such a bell upon the roof of the tower, 

25. East Hagbourne (Berks^, Tower. 

as at Swafîham (Norfolk), Boxford (Suffolk), Chelmsford 
(Essex), and many other churches in these three counties, 
while in a few cases a little bell is suspended upon the 
outside of a spire, as at Hadleigh (Suffolk), Icldeton and 
Hinxton (Cambs.), Wethersfield, Great Baddow and All 
Saints Maldon (Essex), Glaston (Butland) and Oxborough 
(Norfolk). The tower of Llanerchymedd is almost alone 
in the distinction of having a special sanctus-bell gable 
designed so as to rise from the centre of the tower battle- 
ment. A close parallel, however, exists at East Hagbourne 

h 2 

92 The Ecelesiology of Anglesey. 

(Berks) (Fig. 25), where a graceful spirelet with fianking 
pinnacles stands upon the battlement of the tower, in the 
analogous position — on its eastern side, overlooking the 
body of the church. 

Other Anglesey towers call for but little attention. 
The poor towers at Llangefni 1 and Llangeinwen date 
from the earlier part of the nineteenth century and are 
average examples of such attempts at ' ' Gothic ' ' as were 
made at that period , while Amlwch church has a tower of 
the eighteenth century type that followed upon the work 
of Wren, in which Gothic outline is maintained, with a 
balustrade for parapet and with quasi-classical detail, a 
tower that falls into the same category with those of 
Bangor-is-y-Coed (Denbighshire) and Llanfyllin (Mont- 
gom.). and such Shropshire examples as Whitchurch, 
Quatt, Bolas Magna and Wellington. New churches 
erected in place of old ones have been responsible for 
towers with spires of thoroughly exotic type in some 
Anglesey parishes, as at Llanedwen, Llanwenllwyfo and 


It seems somewhat strange that while Penmon was, 
from the far-off days of St. Seiriol in the sixth century, a 
centre of Celtic Church life the structure of the Priory 
church should be in the alien style of the Norman — a 
Norman minster, in fact, upon a small scale. There are, 
however, relics which connect Penmon with its earlier 
days in the shape of tall Celtic crosses, of which two are 
practically complete, while fragments of a third remain. 

1 Llangefni church was built in 1824 in the same enclosure with 
the older church, whose site may still be traced near the fine yew 
trees by the entranee to thç churchyard. 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 93 

One of these crosses now stands in the south transept 
of the church, and there is a second at a little distance 
away in the Park, rather larger in size, but similar to it 
in form and in the character of its ornament. The cross 
of equal arms which crowns the shaft extends, in both 
cases, beyond the circular head, 1 and the shaft is adorned 
on all sides with key-pattern and strands of interlacing 
work, such as are usually met with in monuments of the 
kind. Figure-sculpture, which is dominant upon Trish tall 
crosses, sometimes to such an extent as to crowd their 
surface, is generally absent from the Celtic crosses of 
Wales and Cornwall. or only appears to a limited extent, 
and is quite subordinated to conventional patterns. The 
cross in the Park at Penmon is, accordingly, the more 
interesting, since some rudely executed figures appear 
upon two of its faces. One panel of its broad southern 
face has the figure of a saint with nimbus (or of Christ) 
between two nondescript creatures with bird-like bodies 
and animal heads, while on a smaller panel at the base is 
represented a man on horseback with some smaller figures. 
Upon the narrower east face of the shaft is carved the 
figure of a man with some animals. 2 

1 As in the splendid tall crosses at Carew, Nevern and Penally 
(Pem.). At Carew the spaces between the arms of the cross and 
the circle are pierced, while at Nevern they are occnpied by bosses. 
In the cross in Penmon south transept the like spaces are filled 
in with carved interlacing strands arranged in triangular form. 
The cross at the head of the example at Llanbadarn-Fawr (Card.) 
has no containing circle. In the fine cross of Maen Chwyfan near 
Dyserth (Flint) the solid circle at the top encloses the cross, so 
that this should be classified amongst " wheel-crosses," to which 
category the very numerous, though less tall, Cornish crosses, as 
a class, belong. 

2 One of these animals is figured upside down as though dead, 
suggesting tbat the intention of the craftsman was to represent 
a scene of the chase. 


The Ecclesiojogy of Angiesey. 


When the heathen tribes who had overrun the Roman 
Empire in the West were first converted to Christianity 
it was the custom of the missionaries, after primitive pre- 
cedent, 1 to resort to rivers, pools or springs for the bap- 
tism of their converts. Bede, writing of the planting of 
Christianity in the province of Deira, tells how Paulinus 

26. Llanfair-yn-y-Cwmmwd, Font. 

was wont to baptize in the river Swale, no baptisteries 
having as yet been built. 2 In the Celtic lands of Wales, 
Ireland and Brittany the world-wide phenomenon of the 
cult of sacred wells, with its peculiar appeal to the native 

1 As in the example of the baptism of the Ethiopian eunich by 
St. Philip, Acts viii, 38. 

2 " Baptizavit in fiuvio Sualia, qui \ icum Caractacam praeter- 
fluit. Nondum enim oratoria vel baptisteria in ipso exordio 
nascentis ibi ecclesiae poterant aedificari." Hist. Eccles., ii, 14. 

The Ëcclesiology of Anglesey. 


imagination, found a special expression/ and (Jhristian 
missionaries, acting in this as in other respects, upon 
the wise principle of adapting and sanctifying what was 
natural to man, baptized their converts at wells and 
springs which already had their religious, though heathen^ 
association, placing them in the new dispensation under 

Llanfìhangel-yn-Nhywyn, Font. 

the protection of the true God and His saints instead of 
the spirits of pre-Christian mythology. 2 

1 See Hartwell Jones, Celtic Britain and the Piìgrim Morement, 
pp. 381 et seqq. 

: In Anglesey the well at Penmon may be seen in its own special 
structure at a little distance from the church, and at Cerrigcein- 
wen the holy well is in the churchyard. Giraldus mentions two 
welLs at Llanddwyn (Itinerarium, II, vii). Well-chapels were 
probably erected in the first instance to serve as baptisteries, and 
sereral structures of the type remain in Cornwall, as at St. Madron 

9 6 

The Ecclesiolooy of Anglesey. 

By a natural transition the first artificial receptacles 
for the baptismal water would take a tub-like or tank 
form, 1 and when, in the period succeeding the Norman 
Conquest, a stone font became a regular article of the 
furniture of a church we find that it is of such shape. 

28. Llanrhychwyn (Carnarvon), Font. 

Examples of early oblong rectangular fonts occur in Angle- 
sey at Llanfair-yn-y-Cwmmwd (Fig. -26), Llanfihangel- 
yn-Nhywyn (Fig. 27) and Tal-y-Llyn, and of the same 

(a primitive esample, now in ruins), Dupath Well (near Calling- 
ton), St. Cleer (near Liskeard) and St. Breward (near Bodmin). 
In North Wales we have the esample of St. Trillo's Chapel and 
Well, LlandriHo-yn-Rhos. See Bezant Lowe, The Heurt of 
Northern Wáles, Vol. I, pp. 367-8. 

1 [Uustrative esamples are given by J. C. Wall in Porches und 
Fonts, p. 286. 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 97 

primitive type is the plain early font at Llanrhychwyn 
(Camarvonshire) (Fig. 28). Of these the font of Llanfair- 
yn-y-Cwmmwd is of special interest 011 .account of its 
adornment. The bowl has rudely-caryed heads with 
crosses between them 011 its lower part, with above them 
a waving band of the cable moulding that appears fre- 
quently as a feature of twelfth century fonts. Anglesey 
is oeculiarly rich in font bowls of this same period, of tub- 
li ^e form, covered ẁith well-executed ornament. Of these 

29. Llangeinwen, Font. 

the fonts at Llangeinwen (Fig. 29) and Llanidan (Fig. 30) 
are remarkable for their very graceful patterns in relief 
showing irifluence of Greek classical design. 1 Other font- 
bowls of this tub-like fonn have been obviously influenced 
in their ornament by such designs as characterise the 
early Celtic crosses. Interlacing strands arranged in 
panels appear on the font-bowl at Llangristiolus (Fig. 33). 

1 Patterns of this class occur elsewhere chiefly in Devon (ás at 
Plymstock) in Cornwall (as at Fowey, Ladock and St. Feock) and 
in a splendid Buckinghamshire group — all of the Norman period. 
The font-bowl at St.Tudno Llandudno bas a band of analogous 

9 8 

Thc Ecclcsiology of Anglesey 

Incised lines set saltire-wise in panels are the only attempt 
at adornment upon the bowls at Llanfair-yn-Neubwll 
(Fig. 35) and Llangaffo (Fig. 36), the latter retooled in 
recent times, so that il has lost its archaic character. The 
tub-shaped font at Hen Eglwys (Fig. 34) is one of the 
most interesting of its class. Its main ornament is a range 
of arcading, such as formed one of the commonest features 

30. Llanidan, Font. 

of twelfth-century fonts, with bands above and below 
exhibiting the key-pattern, and lozengy forms of incised 
lines such as occur in Celtic work. 

Sometimes, instead of fashioning a font-bowl expressly 
for his purpose, a craftsman would economise in work- 
manship by making use of a block of stone already worked 
that lay ready to hand and was in its shape more or less 
suitable. Parts of columns from Roman stations in 
Britain have thus been converted into fonts at Hexham 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey 


(Northumberland), Eentchester (Hereford), Over Denton 
(Cumberland) and Wroxeter (Salop), while Roman altars 
have been hollowed out and similarly adapted at Choller- 
ton and Haydon Bridge (Northumberland), and the very 
curious monolith font at Old Radnor appeàrs to have been 
fashioned froni a Druidical altar. 1 

Anglesey affords a most interesting example of adap- 
tation of earlier worked material in the font at Penmon, 

31. Penmon, Font. 

which has been formed from the base of a Celtie cross, 
with a receptacle hollowed out to hold the baptismal 
water (Fig. 31). Its faces bear patterns characteristic of 
the tall crosses, including the key-pattern and the trian- 
gular knots of interlacing strands which appear upon the 
cross that stands in the south transept of the same church. 
There are some curious examples elsewhere of the em- 
ployment of portions of tall crosses in forming fonts. At 
Melbury Bubb (Dorset) (Fig. 32) the font is evidently 

'Described in Baptismal Fonts (S.P.C.R.), p. 19. ■ 


The Ecclesiology of Ariglesey. 

part of the cylindrical shaft of a cross, inverted so that 
the wider diameter is uppermost, and a hollow has been 
scooped out to serve for the baptismal basin. The font at 
Wilne (Derbyshire) has been made in exactly the same 
manner, so that in both these cases the lavish ornament, 
including animal figures, is now shown upside down. In 
yet another case — at Dolton (Devon) — both the bowl and 
pedestal of the font are formed by fragments of rectan- 

32. Melbury Bubb (Dorset), Font. 

gular shafts of Celtic crosses, but apparently unrelated 
and dissimilar ìiì the character of their ornament. 

A good many Anglesey fonts, besides those above 
mentioned, are also of early type, such as those at Cerrig- 
ceinwen, Llanbabo, Llanbadrig, Llanbeulan, Llanddeu- 
sant, Llanynghenedl, Llanfechell, Llantrisant, Llechcyn- 
farwy, Pentraeth and Trefdraeth. 

From fche later part of the fchirteenth century onwards 
an octagonal form became usual for the font-bowl, and a 
good many plain octagonal fonts date from the fourteenth 

The Ecclesiology of Angiesey. 


century, and may belong to almost any subsequent period. 
Fonts of this kind are frequent in Anglesey, occurring at 

33. Llangristiolus, Font. 

34. Hen Eglwys, Font. 

Llanbedr-goch, Llanddona, Llandrygarn, Llandyssilio, 
Llanfaethlu, Llanfihangel-Dinsilwy, Llanfihangel-Yscei- 


The Ecclesiology of Anglesey 

fiog, Penmynydd and Penrhos-Lligwy. At Llandegfan 
the plain octagonal font-bowl had been discarded from 
the church and reposed for some time in the garden at 
Nanthowel. Now, given back to the church again, it has 
been erected upon a base of tiles, and stands in the churçh- 
yard in the space between the south transept and the 

35. Llanfair-yn-Neubwll, Font. 

porch (Fig. 37). At Holyhead a plain octagonal bowl 
bears the inscription : — 




ERT • WAl! 


with the date october 1662 (Fig. 38), commemorating its 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey 

36. Llangaffo, Font. 

37. Llandegfan, Font. 


The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

restoration to its due place in the church after the troubles 
of the period of the Commonwealth when many fonts were 
misused and cast away. Similarly a square bowl at Llan- 
wenllwyfo, which has the appearance of an early one, is 
dated 1661, and at Llanddeinolen (Carnarvonshire) the re- 
chiselled font is inscribed with the sacred name ihc, and 

38. Holyhead, Font. 

below it the date 1665 with the initials ws and wp, pro- 
bably of churchwardens. A good many English fonts bear 
a date of this same period with initials or names of church 
officials appended. Thus at Rothwell (Yorks) we find — 
1662, c.r. (the King), r. w. vicariüs wrothwell ; at 
Sandal Magna (Yorks) — 1662. c.R. (the King) h.b. : r.d. ; 
at Birldn (Yorks)— 1663. John Morreth. John Hollings. 
William Leak. John Baxter ; at Ripple (Kent) — 1663, 

Tke Ecclesiology of A nglesey. 


r.p. ; and at Atcham (Salop)— 1675 § wp . gt Issey 
(Cornwall) 1664. At Ackworth (Yorks) the setting up of 
the font again after its profanation during the Common- 
wealth is more expressly commemorated, the inscription 


H.A. : T.C. GARDIANIS 1663. 

39. Beaumaris, Font. 

A most curious example of a base-metal font at 
Beaumaris deserves special mention. In form it is of the 
sundial or garden flower-vase shape, with diminutive 
bowl, which found favour in the days of the eighteenth 

io6 The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

century when men were indifferent to tradition in the 
ceremonial and fittings of our churches. This font is now 
placed within the south porch, and, being extremely 
heavy, is mounted upon a small square slab of stone pro- 
vided with four little wheels, so that the whole may be 
moved without great effort (Fig. 39). 

Fonts of metal, being strictly speaking uncanonical, 
are not very common, but there are altogether thirty-one 
leaden fonts in England, 1 and a solitary example of a 
brass font at Little Gidding (Hunts) dates from 1626, 
when Nicholas Ferrar, a devoted adherent of the Laudian 
school, revived a semi-monastic life in his mansion there. 
Fonts of iron are equally rare, there being only one 
example in our own country, viz., at Blaenavon (Mon), 
where a font of this material was provided for the church 
at the time of its erection (1805) by the proprietors of the 
local ironworks. The present Eoyal Font of England is 
also of metal — silver gilt — in the shape of a portable cup- 
shaped vessel standing 3 feet high. l't ẅas made by order 
of Charles II and is kept with the regalia in the Tower 
of London. 2 


Under this head some outstanding examples may be 
referred to : — 

(a) Of early Cross Sepuìchral Sìabs an ornate speci- 
men at Llanfair-yn-y-Cwmmwd is now fixed in an upright 
position to the north wall of the interior of the church 
(Fig. 40). The Norman semi-classical character of the 
foliage decoration, akin to that upon the font of Llan- 
geinwen and upon the large sepulchral slabs at St. Tudno 

1 Particulars of these are given in Baptismal Fonts (S.P.C.R.), 
Chapter ix. 

a The Royal Font is described and illustrated by J. Ç. Wall in 
Porches and Fonts, pp. 193-4. 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey 


Llandudno, indicate a late twelfth-century or early 
thirteenth-century date. 

(b) In Monumental Effigies Anglesey is not rich. 
Llaniestyn church has an early example, popularly de- 


40. Sepulchral Slab, Llanfair-yn-y-Cwmmwd. 

scribed as a figure of St. Iestyn. In the grounds of Baron 
Hill near Beaumaris is preserved the stone coffin of 
Princess Joan, daughter of the English Iving John, with 

1 2 


The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

her figure upon the lid. The illegitimate princess was 
bestowed in marriage by her father upon Llewelyn ap 

íl'fcttv. tfut- 3oAu öf 


Wl'cJLow, McuAçjkt<W aAiij So\í.Uur 
€-fs cỳ TKOMASUni_LlAMS o[ 

Bo4Iew C-e»vt. Wcf-*. op 
"OHN EUIS ofSlỳmllyn £>.!>. 

RíLttbi- c?f- LÌcjLncldciUn c^ä. Cjnajü 
C«Jl»r of í>t".'d6 ,cn. 
S7\£- Kcxc( fU/o tûvvî ÍOcíí IIajo 
tlcuA<jK í -«.*-S Vlel. 

Skx dU(>A.rfì<A ttùs Lcft (£*• t 

ìcfroU^ »/ Nov<i>^t>ev V- 

41. Memorial Slab, Llanddeiniol-Fab. 

Iorwerth (the Great), the friend and patron of the monks 
and of the Franciscan Friars, and benefactor of Penmon 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 109 

Priory, and was buried at her husband's foundation of 
Llanfaes, close to Beaumaris. After centuries of desecra- 
tion the tomb is now carefully preserved. The not far 
distant church of Penmynydd also contains a fine monu- 
ment with recumbent effigies, removed like Princess 
Joan's tomb from Llanfaes, 1 commemorating fifteenth- 
century members of the Tudor family which later became 
the roval house of Britain. 

(c) The abundant local material of slate has been 
freely used for headstones in graveyards during the 
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but has seldom been 
employed for interior memorials. There is, however, a 
most interesting example of a Slate Memorial Slab at 
Llanddeiniol-Fab (Fig. 41). This is now fixed to the 
inner wall of the porch and commemorates the heiress of 
Bodlew, who married Dr. John Ellis, Chancellor of St. 
Davids, and died in 1723. Such use of slabs of slate for 
interior memorials is specially characteristic of Corn- 
wall, where their great number and variety form highly 
important evidence of the local art of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries. 2 

(d) Of Modern Memorials special mention may be 
made of the altar-tomb, with attendant angels, to the 
Hon. W. O. Stanley, Lord Lieutenant of Anglesey, in the 
Stanley Memorial Chapel, which forms a strildng feature 
of the interior of the church at Holyhead. 

1 Llanfaes Priory was a farourite burial-place in this part of 
the country. There were interred a son of the King of Denmark. 
Lord Clifford, and many of the hnights slain in the Welsh 

2 A few of these Cornish slate niemorials are as old as the six- 
teenth century, as at Whitstone (1535), Laniyet (1559), Talland 
(1572), Michaelstow (1577) and Lanhydroch (1599). Amongst the 
very large number of seventeenth-century examples fine ones occur 
at Blisland, St. Breock, Davidstow, Egloshayle, St. Ewe, St. Ive, 
Laudrahe, Lanreath, North Hill and St. Stephen-by-Launceston. 


The Ëcclesiology of Anglesey. 


The fifteenth century was, throughout the country, 
the golden age of church furniture, and in Anglesey, 

42. Miserere, Beaumaris. 

as elsewhere generally, pre-Eeformation woodwork of 
notable character dates from this period, being found 
usually in stalls and screens. 

(A) Stalls. 

The original fifteenth-century stalls remain at Llan- 
eilian in the chancel that was rebuilt at that time, and 

43. Miserere, Beaumaris. 

may be compared with the choir-stalls at Clynnog-Fawr 
(Carnarvonshire), of approximately the same date. 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 1 1 1 

The chancel of Beaumaris, though later in date, has 
been fitted with some twenty-five seats of the fifteenth 
century, brought from the Priory of Llanfaes near by. 
These are of the usual type of their period, and are distin- 
guished by the fine carving around the small " miserere " 
seat on their under sides. In the centre of each seat is a 
demi-angel with outstretched wings and holding a shield. 
The angel is in every case flanked by well-executed 
heads. Some are male heads, tonsured, hooded, mitred or 
crowned, while others are female, bareheaded, hooded or 
wearing caps. In some the occupations of daily life are 
pictured — a man carrying a barrel and women bearing in 
one case a sheaf of corn, and in another a milk-pail. 
Examples from these ' misereres ' are illustrated in 
Figs. 42, 43. 

(b) Rood-screens. 

In the old churches of the native plan the rood-screen 
which formed the division between the ritual chancel and 
the nave must have been the most interesting and the 
most ornate feature of the typical Welsh village church. 
Unfortunately the majority of these have perished, for, 
though they persisted through the changes consequent 
upon the Reformation, and lingered in considerable num- 
ber through the subsequent difficult days of the growth 
of Puritan prejudice, and the period of neglect in the 
eighteenth century, they fell in the earlier half of the 
nineteenth century before the misguided zeal of church 
' ' restorers ' ' , being sacrificed to the craze for an open vista 
of a whole interior which marked that epoch. Thus most 
of the old Welsh churches lost their most imposing in- 
ternal feature, and one, besides, that carried them back 
to a ceremonial arrangement that marked their lineal 
descent from the first sanctuaries built when Christianity 
was introduced into the land. 


The Ëcclesiology of Anglesey. 




Fine examples of rood-screens, however, remain in the 
following churches : — 

Denbighshire. Gresford. 

Llanrwst. 1 
Clynnog Fawr. 2 
Conway. 2 
Dohwddelan. 3 
Llanberis. 4 
Llanengan. 1 
Llanegryn. 1 
Montgomery. 1 
Llanwnog. 1 
Pennant Melangell. 1 
Llanelieu. 5 
Llanfillo. 1 
Patricio. 6 
Cascob. 1 
Llananno. 1 
Llanbister. 7 
Old Eadnor. 

1 In these cases the screens retain their lofts above. The loft 
parapets at Llanrwst, Llanegryn, Montgomery, Pennant Melangell, 
Llanfillo, Cascob and Llananno are panelled, the panels in tlie last 
case being filled with statuary. At Llanengan, Llanwnog, Patricio, 
Bettws-Newydd, and Llangwm the loft parapets have their panels 
filled with pierced tracery of varied and graceful patterns. 

2 These screens have retained the fioors of their lofts. 

3 This screen is now surmounted by an eighteentli-century balus- 
trade. * Now removed to the west end of the church. 

s The screens at Llanelieu and Bettws are remarkable in having 
tbe whole space between the loft and the roof of the church boarded 
up so as to form a partition between the sanctuary and the nave, 
after primitive Celtic precedent. 

6 At Patricio stone altars stand against the screen to right and 
left of the entrance to the chancel. This was a not unusual position 



To facc p. 113. 

44. — Llaneilian, Rood-Screen. 

The Ecctesiology of Anglesey. i i 

Monmouth. Bettws Newydd. 5 

Llangwm. 1 

Usk. 8 

Tbe church of Llaneilian in Anglesey is foftunate in 
having retained its rood-screen contemporary with the 
rebuilding of the church in the fifteenth century (Fig. 44). 
The screen itself is of four rectangular openings, without 
tracery in their heads, 9 on each side of the entrance in the 
centre, where still hang the original doors. Above this a 
coved projection supports the floor of the loft, and the 
horizontal mouldings and cornice are filled with a deli- 
cately carved pattern of stiff conventional flowers and 
leaves, with cusped tracery. The parapet of open panels 
is without tracery or carved ornament, and the loft was 
rendered easily accessible by a staircase within a stone 
turret at the south-east corner of the nave, which forms a 
prominent object in an exterior view, since it rises above 
the roof of the church, to which it also gives access 
(Fig. 12). 

Portions of old rood-screens remain in some churches 
here and there in the country. At Newtown (Montgom.) 

for subsidiary altars, as at Ranworth (Norfolk). It is a prevailing 
arrangement in France where rood-screens have been retained, as 
at St. Florentin (Yonne) and the church of the Madeleine at Troyes 
(Aube). A like arrangement is sean in Wales at St. David's, where 
the parish altar is placed against the screen to the north of the en- 
trance, the chapter altar occupying the usual place of the high altar 
in the chancel. ' An unusually plain and rudely-executed example. 

8 The scheme of colour and gold has been restored in thLs case. 
Fragments of a scre^n recovered at Mount (Cardigan) during repairs 
in the winter of 1916-7 show traces of red and green colouring, 
and Meyrich in his work on Cardiganshire refers to the colouring 
of the screens at Llanbadarn Fawr. Fragments of the screen of 
Llanfairfechan, preserved at the Old Plas, are also coloured in red 
and green. 

' Contrasting in this respect with the compartments of such 
screens as Llanrwst, Conway, Llananno, and others, which have 
lace-like tracery in their heads. 

1 14 Tlie Ecclesiology oý Anglesey. 

considerable remains have been converted into panelling 
around the sanctnary of the church which has succeeded 
the old parish church, now in ruins on the bank of the 
Severn. At Penmachno (Carnarvonshire) some parts are 
now incorporated in the communion rail, while St. Tudno 
Llandudno and Llangelynin churches in the same county 
also retain remnants of their screens. The Anglesey 
churches of Llanallgo and Llangwyllog have some relics 
of the like kind. Farther south we find some traceried 
panels of a former screen worked into a reredos at Llan- 
cynfelin (Cardigan), and two large beams of the rood- 
screen belonging to the old church of Llanina (Cardigan) 
— now beneath the waves of Cardigan Bay — may be seen 
at the west end of its poor and comparatively modern 
successor, while in Pembrokeshire at Manorbier the pre- 
sent chancel-screen embodies some part at least of the 
earlier and original one. 

(c) Pulpits. 

Wooden pulpits are rarely to be met with in our 
churches of a date antecedent to the fifteenth century, to 
which period belong some valuable examples such as those 
of Fotheringhay (Northants) and Wenden (Essex). x It 
was after the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when peculiar 
emphasis began to be laid on preaching, and the Anglican 
Canons of 1603 had ordered that a comely and decent 
pulpit be provided and set in a convenient position, that 
we find many of the churches throughout the land fitted 
with a pulpit with ornament typical of the " Jacobean ' 
period. Anglesey churches have some fair examples of the 
type, as at Bodewryd, Llanfaethlu and Llangaffo. More 
curious is the finer pulpit in the lonely and ill-kept church 

1 A notable wooden pulpit of earlier date is the one at Lutter- 
worth (Leics), from which Wycliffe, who held that benefice, must 
have preached. 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

i i 

of Llanfihangel-Dinsilwy, of the date 1628, whose orna- 
ment, of the characteristic forms of that time, is bnrnt 
into the wood instead of carved. There is also some very 
well executed carved wood-work incorporated into the 
pulpit, reading-desk and choir-stalls of the new church at 
Llanedwen, on the Marquis of Anglesey's estate, but this 
was obviously intended in the first instance for domestic 
and not for ecclesiastical furniture. 

45. Llanedwen, Dog Tongs. 

In connection with the subject of church furniture 
mention should be made of dog-tongs, an instrument 
which seems to have been much in vogue with parish clerks 
in this part of Wales in the eighteenth century and early 
part of the nineteenth century, for the removal from the 
church, without personal risk, of troublesome dogs. A 

I ió The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 

curiosity of this lünd is still kept at Llaneilian (dated 
1748) and at Llanedwen (Fig. 45), the grip of the wooden 
pincers being strengthened in the second case by the addi- 
tion of sharp iron spikes. In the neighbouring county of 
Carnarvon dog-tongs are also kept at Bangor Cathedral, 
at Llanfairfechan, at Llaniestyn (dated 1750), and at 
Clynnog-Fawr (of iron, dated 1815). 

V.- — Conclusion. 

The greater part of Anglesey, so far as natural attrac- 
tions are concerned, is somewhat featureless. Its hills do 
not attain the dignity of mountains 1 and it is compara- 
tively bare of trees, so that its aspect contrasts with the 
grandeur of scenery that characterises the neighbouring 
mainland of Wales. 2 But to the student and the thought- 
ful the human interest and associations of the island must 
always make their strong appeal, and it is the intimate 
connection of architecture with these that renders an in- 
telligent examination of old churches especially attractive 
though somewhat difficult to carry out, for the churches 
of Anglesey are for the most part as closely locked up 
and the keys as inaccessible as when George Borrow 
tramped through " Wild Wales ". The present paper 
will, it is hoped, help to make it clear that features of 
building due to extraneous influence have their fasci- 
nating story to tell, and their light to throw upon move- 
ments of history, but the dominant interest of Anglesey, 

1 TTolyhead Mountain is a little over 700 feet high, while Parys 
Mountain only reaehes the height of about 500 feet. 

2 Giraldus Cambrensis describes the natural character of Angle- 
sey in a few words — " Est autein Moniae arida tellus et saxosa, 
defonnis aspectu et inamoena." Itinerarium, II, vii. Of tlie 
church buildings of the island he tells us nothing, but with liis 
usual interest in natural history discourses upon a local breed of 
tail-less dogs. 

The Ecclesiology of Anglesey. 1 17 

from our present point of view, lies in the little churches 

of the native plan which has, in the island, always 

held the field. The great wave of stone-craft and con- 

structive skill which in the thirteenth and fourteenth cen- 

turies swept over Western Europe broke upon the barrier 

of the mountains of Wales and penetrated but little into 

its valleys, and remote Anglesey was, even more than the 

rest of Wales, immune from it. Thus, although the actual 

structure of an original oratory of the sixth century 

missionary saints in no case remains, yet the Anglesey 

churches are still in their plan and general aspect little 

more than the cells of the old Celtic founders whose names 

they perpetuate. Lonely upon a hill-side like Llanfihangel 

Dinsilwy under the shadow of Bwrdd Arthur — overlooking 

a storm-swept coast like Llanbadrig above the significantly 

named Hell's Mouth — or isolated by the waves of each 

tide like Llangwyfan and Llanddwyn — bare and rude in 

appearance and almost devoid of architectural features — 

they tell , equally with the town churches that preside over 

the market-place, or with stately cathedrals rich in carved 

work and imagery, of those eternal verities that lie behind 

all life. Since the Eeformation, which well-nigh struck 

a death blow to care for the old sanctuaries, they have 

passed through a period of neglect, but in spite of this 

they witness still to man's hold upon the unseen by that 

faith which brings him strength for the struggle of the 

present and hope for the world to come, when the fleeting 

trials of this transitory life have passed. 

" Yr hoedl er hyd ei haros 
A dderfydd yn nydd ac yn nos." 1 

Inscription upon the exterior sundial at Holyhead church. 

Jronworfi ín *0e £dfí (paffejn 

By The Kev. E. TYEEELL-GEEEN, M.A., 

When travelling about the country the student of Archi- 
tecture, or anyone interested in artistic design, will always 
be quick to notice special features or peculiarities of a 
particular district. Sometimes in by-paths and out-of-the- 
way parts, or in a neighbourhood otherwise barren, a local 
fashion, or some native school of workers, has been re- 
sponsible for detail of unusual merit, or for some prevail- 
ing feature that is either peculiar to the district, or only 
met with so rarely elsewhere as to be characteristic. 

West Wales is not remarkable, generally speaking, for 
the architecture of its ancient buildings, which are for the 
most part simple in their plan and comparatively rude in 
their structure. Nor are the accessories and fittings of 
buildings in the same locality noteworthy for beauty of 
design or for sound workmanship. But there are occa- 
sional exceptions, and the lower part of the Teifi valley, 
from Llandyssul to Cardigan, has some unusually good 
iron-work to show, which seems to have been due to the 
skill and rivalry of famous local blacksmiths during the 
earlier half of the nineteenth century. The presence of 
such workmanship in remote places of this out-of-the-way 
district is the more remarkable, since good iron-work 
cannot be said to be common in Wales as a whole. 

Very characteristic work of these Cardiganshire smiths 
is especially seen in the iron railings, with tall gates, which 
enclose graves of the period from 1800 to 1850 in some of 
the churchyards of the region. A great many of these are 
found in the churchyard at Llandyssul, and two of the 

Iron-work ìn the Teifi Valley 


finest, exhibiting interesting variety in their design, are 
illustrated in Figures 1 and 2, while another especially 

Fig. 1. Gate to grave enclosure, Llandyssul. 

good example, almost identical in form with Fig. 2, occurs 
in the graveyard of Hawen Chapel at Ehydlewis eight or 
nine miles distant. 

120 Iron-work in the Teifi Valley 

Fig. 2. Gate to grave enclosure, Llandyssul. 

Iron-work in the Teifi Valley. 121 

The little town of Llandyssul seems to have been the 
centre of the activity of this school of workers in iron, for 
Tyssul Castle, the largest house there, has some very well 
executed iron railings for its enclosure, adjoining the old 
bridge, and a chemist's shop in the town has railings of 
simple and effective design with very pleasing double gates 
in the centre surmounted by an iron arch with scroll-work, 
holding a lamp (Fig. 3). 

Of design analogous to the Llandyssul grave-railings 
is the fine gate at the main entrance on the south side of 
the churchyard at Troedyraur (Fig. 4). This is known to 
have been the work of Thomas Jones, a blacksmith of the 
hamlet of Brongest, which lies in the valley below the 
church, and was made in 1831. The upper part with 
elaborate scroll-work is properly and prudently fixed in the 
stone-work of the enclosing arch, thus avoiding the heavy 
strain upon the iron-work which would result were the 
gates so formed as to open right np to the top. The actual 
gates, which open in the centre, measure 6J feet high by 
4ît. 3in. broad. 

Cardigan, at the lowest extremity of the valley, has a 
graceful example of similar work, though on a smaller 
scale, in the gates which close a footpath leading to the 
grounds of the old castle which has now been long used 
as a private residence (Fig. 5). 

The grandest examples of this local craft are at the 
upper limit of the district, about two miles above Llan- 
dyssul. These are the great gates to the enclosure of the 
farm buildings at Llanfair Farm, close to the banks of the 
Teifi (Figs. 6 and 7). The buildings themselves are solid 
and massive in character in the form of a quadrangle of 
unusually large scale, and bear the date 1797. A tall 
round-headed arch forms the entrance into the enclosure 
from the road, and on the opposite side of the quadrangle 



Iron-zvork in the Teifi Valley 

I ^<^I4^ 

Fig. 3. Gateway to chemist's shop, Llandyssul. 

Iron-work in the Teifi Valley. 


Fig. 4. Gateway to churchyard, Troedyraur. 

K 2 

124 Iron-work in the Teifi Valley. 

a similar archway leads into the river-meadows. Both 
these arches are filled in to the top with high gates, open- 
ing in the centre, of finely designed and well-executed 
iron-work. The current story is that the respective pairs 
of gates were the work of two rival smiths of the Teifi 
valley who strove to outvie one another in the magnifi- 
cence of their work. The more elaborately designed gates 
are those opening from the road. These have a band of 
scroll-work at the base and are no less than ten feet in 
height. They are still strong and sound, though not kept 
in very good repair. The other gates, giving on to the 
meadows by the river, are of similar design and workman- 
ship. Though less intricate in pattern they are of almost 
exactly the same measurement, and John Gôf Edwards, 
a blacksmith who lived near-by, used to claim that they 
had been made by his father. The scroll-work of these 
gates will bear comparison with the best work of the kind 
in other lands, and the high gates at Llanfair Farm in 
fact recall such famous examples as the similar infillings 
of fer forgr in the gates of the old monastery churchyard 
at Salzburg in the Austrian Tyrol. The Salzburg gates, 
like the one at the entrance to Troedyraur churchyard, 
have their upper scroll-work fixed in the containing arch- 
way, the barred gates below affording sufficient space, 
when opened, for passage in and out. At Tjlanfair Farm 
the gates swing open to the very top of the arch, a detri- 
mental arrangement so far as the gates themselves are 
concerned, for the heavy weight of such very lofty gates 
has inevitably resulted in some bending and sagging of the 
work. But it was obviously essential that the farmyard 
archways should be opened to their full extent to allow for 
the passage of heavily laden waggons. 

Down to about 50 years ago the smiths of the Llan- 
dyssnl vallev were famous for their good work, and one of 

Irou-zvork in the Teifi Vailey. 


Fig. 5. Gateway to footpath to Castle Grounds, Cardigan. 

t2Ó Iron-work in the Teifi Valley. 

Fig. 6. Gateway to Llanfair Farm. 

Irou-work in the Teifi Valley. 127 

the last of the school, named Evan Eees, was responsible 
for the large vane in the form of a fish that still adorns 
a gable of the Porth Hotel at Llandyssul, a well-known 
house in West Wales with fìve miles of the best fishing 
of the Teifi, and a favourite resort of anglers (Fig. 8). A 
smaller fish-vane also surmounts a small lantern at Llan- 
fair Farm house. Upon buildings by the banks of a river 
or near the sea shore, where men occupy their business 
in the waters, it is not uncommon for a weather-vane to 
assume this form. Examples occur at Oxborough Eectory 
ahd Downham Market in West Norfolk bordering upon 
the Fens, and upon the church steeples of Filey (Yorks.) 
and Piddinghoe (Sussex), the last-named being somewhat 
inexactly referred to by Eudyard Eipling in his well- 
known verses on Sussex — 

" . . south where windy Piddinghoe's 
Begilded Dolphin veers, 
And blaek beside wide-banked Ouse 
Lie down our Sussex steers." 

In departing from the normal weathercock a vane by 
its form sometimes thus alludes to man's sport as at the 
Porth Hotel, and as witnesses the not uncommon fox in 
the like position on farm buildings. Occasionally also its 
form is suggested by man's daily work. A dainty example 
of this latter kind is found at the hamlet of Maes-y-Llyn 
buried away in a deep dingle not far from Llandyssul. 
Here the blacksmith has erected a diminutive plough, 
carefully modelled, upon the roof of his forge to do duty 
for a vane (Fig. 9). There are scarcely any other vanes 
of noteworthy design in the neighbourhood, and a discus- 
sion of the curious forms of vanes in general would take 
us too far from the subject of this article, which has been 
written to draw attention to some outstanding examples 
of the craft of workers in iron who have only in recent 

i 28 Iron-work in thc Teifi Valley 

Fig. 7. Gateway to Llanfair Farm. 

Iron-work in the Teifi Valley. 129 

Fig. 8. Vane at the Porth Hotel, Llandyssul. 

Fig. 9. Vane at smithy, Maes-y-Llyn. 

1 30 [ron-work in the Teifi Valley. 

times passed away from a district whose natural beauties 
so engross the traveller's attention that he is apt to over- 
look such evidences of man's handiwork as are here dealt 

%%t ^mporíance anb QOa(ut of Bocaf 

By T. P. ELLIS, M.A., 

Author qf" Welsh Tribal Law in the Middle Ages", and " Dolyelley 

and Llanelltyd'' '. 

Preliminary Note, by E. Yincent Eyans, C.H. 

The importance and the value of Welsh Local Records 
have not as yet been fully recognised. In 1899 a Com- 
mittee was appointed by the First Lord of the Treasury, 
with instructions to enquire as to the existing arrange- 
ments for the collection and custody of Local Records, 
with the then Lord Bishop of London (Dr. Creighton) as 
Chairman. Dr. Creighton died in 1901, and was suc- 
ceeded in the Chairmanship by the Right Hon. James 
Bryce, D.C.L. The Committee issued a Report in 1902, 
and in regard to Parochial Records pointed out that the 
most important of such records included the Registers of 
baptisms, marriages and burials, the accounts of church- 
wardens, and overseers of the poor, rate books, minutes 
of vestry meetings, title deeds, etc, relating to land, 
tithe maps and apportionments, and inclosure awards. 

The earliest Churchwardens' accounts were said to date 
from the llth century, and were of very great interest 
as throwing light on the fabrics and ornaments of parish 
churches, as well as on the social, ecclesiastical, and 
economical conditions of the parishes to which they 

132 The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

relate. Parish rate books were useful, as sbowing the 
occupations, and the changes in character, and in value of 
property, throughout the country. Amongst the records 
of some parishes there are ancient conveyances of land, 
and wills relating to benefactions to the Church, to the 
chantries therein, and to local charities, which are of 
considerable value for historical and practical purposes. 

The Tithe Maps, which under the Tithe Act of 1836 
were to be deposited with the incumbents and church or 
chapel wardens of the parish, or such other fit person as 
might be approved, were considered to be sources of wide 
information in regard to ancient monuments, field and 
place names, and local history generally. The Inclosure 
Awards under the Inclosure Act of 1845, copies of which 
were to be deposited with the Clerk of the Peace, and 
with the wardens for the time being, were of equal im- 
portance for purposes of research and information. The 
Committee, while acknowledging that in an increasing 
number of cases parish records were preserved with 
great care, pointed out that there was no general or 
uniform method or arrangement, and papers which threw 
considerable light 011 the history of a locality were in 
constant danger of being lost or destroyed. It was 
admitted, however, that within recent years there had 
been a growing recognition among the Clergy of the im- 
portance of ancient registers and other documents, and 
of the precautions necessary to ensure their safety. 

In 1910 a Royal Commission was appointed for a 
similar object, but of somewhat wider import. The terms 
of reference directed the Commission to inquire into and 
to report 011 the State of the Public Records and Local 
Records of a public nature. Sir Frederick Pollock, Bart., 
was appointed Chairman, and Dr. Hubert Hall, a distin- 
guished archivist and antiquarian, was appointed Secretary. 

The Importancc and Value of Local Records. 133 

Wales, it may be said in passing, was fully represented on 
the Commission. In regard to Parochial Eecords the Com- 
mission reported (Vol. iii , 1919) that very few rural parishes 
now possess complete series of any class of their Civil 
Records. This they said was due not so much to recent 
neglect, or the deficiencies of modern legislation, as to fre- 
quent changes of custodians and the obsolete character nf 
some of the records themseWes. They strongly urged the 
importance of each separate class of document, as most if 
not all of them can be made to throw light upon social or 
economic history, and many of them are of great value 
to the archa?ologist. The Report states that Returns made 
in 1831 enumerate in the 11,000 parishes of England and 
Wales, 77'2 Registers beginning in 1538. The total num- 
ber of such Registers extant in 1909 was 656, plus some 16, 
containing entries of an earlier date. A hundred Registers 
of this class have thus disappeared in 80 years. There 
have been three principal causes of loss, accidents (usually 
fires) befalling the repositories ; continuous neglect on the 
part of custodians ; and failure to provide for the safe 
transmission of records when benefices changed hands. 
Matters have improved in late years — the parochial clergy 
are as a rule fully alive to the interest and importance of 
these documents — but abuses are inseparable from the 
present system. The removal of the records to a central 
repository has been advocated, but against this suggestion 
the forces of local patriotism are strongly arrayed ; from 
the local point of view, to deprive a parish of the records 
of the past is to inflict upon it a hardship. What can and 
should be insisted upon is a periodical inspection of all 
Registers, with penalties for neglect, and a special inspec- 
tion at the time of every change in the incumbency of a 
parish. Provision through ihe Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sioners, or from some other source, should be made for 

134 The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

the proper accommodation and repair of the records, when 
the resources of the parish are too limited to provide the 
necessary expenditure. What is here said of the custody 
of the Registers applies also to the preservation of Church- 
wardens' Accounts, Overseers' Accounts, and similar 
documents, many of which are of the greatest interest. 
The Commissioners, whose words we have largely quoted, 
deplore the lack of detailed information from Wales. To 
some extent this has been remedied by recent enquiries, 
but in regard to the past the Commission came to the con- 
clusion that by the year 1800 a large proportion of the 
16th and 17th century records was already missing, and 
that since 1837 others have gone astray, or perished from 
sheer neglect. This they add is all the more to be regretted 
as, apart from the admitted value of such records for both 
national and local history, the surviving Welsh county 
records appear to possess features of exceptional interest, 
and the loss of those of an earlier date must be regarded 
by historical students as a profound calamity. To those 
of us who have a love and a respect for local traditions 
and status it is not reassuring to be told that the general 
condition of our Welsh records are less satisfactory than 
that which obtains in England. The Commissioners were 
not aware that any systematic description or inventory of 
parish registers, etc, had been made for any district of 
Wales as has been done in Shropshire and some other 
English Counties. In this connexion, however, it is only 
bare justice to mention the very excellent work done, all 
but single-handed, by Colonel Sir Joseph Bradney, C.B., 
D.Litt., in his transcripts of the Registers of various 
Monmouthshire Parishes, and his Llandaff Records, and 
incidentally of course in his great History of Monmouth- 
shire. What can be done by local investigation will be 
further apparent fi-om the very interesting summary of 

T/ie Importance and Ÿalue of Local Records. 135 

the contents of the Dolgelley Parish Eegisters, which 
follows this preliminary note, and is the reason why 
it was written. The summary is the work of Mr. 
T. P. Ellis, M.A., the author of " Welsh Tribal Law and 
Custom in the Middle Ages," who after strenuous judicial 
labours in India has retired, and has taken a house on the 
estuary of the Mawddach near to Dolgelley, and employs 
his leisure time, of which he has too little to spare, in 
examining local records, and in writing up local. history, 
of which he has given us a delightful example in his little 
book on " Dolgelley and Llanelltyd." We commend this 
study of parochial registers to our readers in the hope that 
it will quicken their interest in what is left of the records 
of the past, and induce them to follow the excellent 
example set by Sir Joseph Bradney and Mr. T. P. Ellis. 

By T. P. ELLIS, M.A. 

I. Introdüctory. 

An important class of documents which throw light upon 
the social and economic life of Wales, particularly in the 
early years of the nineteenth century, is that of the Vestry 
and other Eegisters of certain of the important parish 
churches of the country. 

This source of information has hitherto been almost 
entirely neglected in Wales ; and the following article is 
the result of an attempt to study the details contained in 
one such series, that of the Dolgelley Parish Church. 

The Vestry Eegister begins on the 21st April, 1795, 
and the last entry is dated llth March, 1898, when, the 
old Eegister being filled, a new one was opened. 

136 Tlie Importance and Value of Local Records. 

The Vestry Eegister deals with many subjects, but the 
most important is the administration of the Poor Law by 
the Vestry during the years 1795 to 1837, when the new 
Parochial Amendment Act was applied to Dolgelley, and 
the administration of the Poor Law was, thereafter, trans- 
ferred to the Board of Guardians of the Dolgelley Union. 
It is, therefore, with the Poor Law Administration of the 
parish that the first section of this article is concerned ; 
and it is necessary, in order to economise space, to assume 
that the average reader has some knowledge of the Poor 
Laws of the period. 

II. Poor Law Admintrtration. 
1. Thc Porish and its Vestry. 

Dolgelley parish consisted of seven 'townships", 
Dolgelley, Cefn'rowen, Dyffrydan, Dolgledr, Brithdir 
Isaf, Brithdir Uchaf, and Garthgynfawr, and the opera- 
tions of the Vestry were limited to those areas. 

When the Board of Guardians came into existence in 
1837, it was a Board of Guardians for a Union, comprising 
the parishes of Dolgelley, Llanf achreth , Llanelltyd, Llan- 
aber, Llanddwywe, Llanenddwyn, Llangelynin, Llan- 
egryn, Llanfihangel y Pennant, Llanymawddwy, Mallwyd 
and Talyllyn. 

It is needful to bear this in mind in any comparisons 
that anyone may be tempted to make in considering the 
administration of the Poor Law before and after 1837. 

The control of the Poor Law was in the hands of the 
Parish Vestry, that is of the whole body of parishioners. 
It was the Vestry, which met sometimes in the Parish 
Church, sometimes in the Town Hall, and to which every- 
one had access, that decided who was deserving of relief , 
what relief should be given, and what poor rate should be 
levied. But though the Vestry was open to all and sundry, 

Tke Importance and Value of Local Records. 137 

as a matter of practise it was attended, except on very 
special occasions, by very few people, sometimes as few as 
three and rarely by more than a dozen. Under the pre- 
text of being " popular " government, it was, as popular 
government generally is, government by a clique. 

The Vestry had executive officers ; churchwardens for 
work connected with the Church, an overseer or overseers 
for Poor Law work, and a Yestry clerk, to say nothing of 
fhe Town Crier. 

The all important executive offìcer in connection with 
poor relief was the Overseer. 

In Dolgelley, with only one intermission, the Overseer 
was from 1795 to 1816 one of the Churchwardens named 
Thomas Jones. 

There is an amusing reference to him on the fly-leaf 
of the Vestry Register, where his name is inscribed in 
large letters with the appellation " Hereticus " attached 
to it, which suggests that he possibly found refuge in the 
fold of Methodism. 

Thomas Jones was entirely illiterate ; he was unable to 
write even his own name ; and it would appear that such 
accounts as he maintained were maintained by his wife, 
who was also the local midwife. 

He was the sole Overseer from 1795 to 1801, in which 
year (owing to the exceptional distress of the time) four 
Overseers were appointed. From 1802 to 1810 he was 
again sole Overseer, and in that year the Vestry drew üp 
a list of ' competent persons in every township ' from 
which list it resolved that ' one person from each town- 
ship list should be appointed for a year to act as Inspectors 
of the accounts of the Assistant Overseers, hereinafter 
appointed ", such accounts to be opened for their inspec- 
tion every first Tnesday in the month. 

Thomas Jones was appointed sole Assistant Overseer, 


138 The Importance anci Value oj Local Records. 

and he continued as such, being variously called Overseer, 
Assistant Overseer, Acting Overseer, and Managing Over- 
seer, until he died in 1816. 

Inspectors under this arrangement were appointed for 
the first year ; but there is no record of any second list 
of inspectors. In 1810 there appears to have been some 
doubt as to the Overseer's capacity, for, in appointing him 
for three years, the appointment was made subject to the 
provision that " the said Inspectors do not find suffìcient 
cause, in the course of the first year, to turn him out of 
office. In such case his appointment to expire at the end 
of one year, at which time he shall be at liberty to resign, 
if he should think proper ". 

Whatever doubts there may have been as to his 
capacity were allowed to subside ; and we have the extra- 
ordinary fact that the practical administration of the Poor 
Law was for over 20 years in the hands of an entirely 
illiterate person. 

During his term of office he was paid £25 per annum 
until 1805, when his salary was increased to £30. 

On his death in 1816, three Overseers were appointed ; 
and they were allowed £21 a year " towards the trouble 
of collecting and distributing the Poor Eate " ; and they 
were given power to employ the widow of Thomas Jones 
or any other person to do the actual work. As a matter of 
fact they appointed the widow to do the work, and hence- 
forth she was in sole control of the collection of the poor 
rate and the distribution of relief , as ordered by the Yestry 
clique, bearing the title of Overseer, until 1819. In 1819 
her son was associated with her at the same salary, i.e., 
at £21 per annum. She remained Overseer until 1822, 
when, having re-married, she quarrelled with her son and 
was dismissed. Thus the 27 years' rule of an illiterate 
person and a midwife came to an end. 

The Importance and Vahie of Local Records. 139 

The details may appear of no importance : trat as 
illuminatory of parochial government a century ago, and 
as explicatory of some of the corruptiou attendant thereon, 
it is necessary to mention the facts. 

It appears that in 1822 some of the heaw ratepayers 
demanded a scrutiny of the Overseer's accounts for the 
previous six years, and the result may l)e told best in the 
resolutions of the Vestry : — 

" July 16, 1822: — ' It having been found necessary tliat 
the Accounts of the Parish should be exarained for sereral 
years past. it has been discovered that there have been great 
irregularity practiced, and also a very large balance appears 

to be due to it from E E , the acting Overseer, as 

also various large sums remaining unpaid, It is ordered that 

Mr. H W , Solicitor, be employed to assist the Yestry 

how to proceed with regard to them and her, and to take such 
legal advice as lie may think necessary. It is also ordered 

that E E be prevented receiving any more money 

011 account of the Parish, and not in any way interfere with 
the concerns of the Parish except attending as Midwife.' 

" Sept. 17, 1822. — ' The opinion with regard to the affairs 

of E E and the Parish having arrived, It is advised 

that the following Persons (8 in number) be requested to con- 

sult with Mr. H W what further steps be taken con- 

cerning it and other affairs of the Parish, and report it to a 
general Yestry as they shall see proper.' 

" Decr. 20, 1822.—' It was also ordered that E E 

be called upnn by Mr. H W and that he take the 

most summary way to make her pay the balance due to the 
Parish.' " 

Whether anything was ever recovered and what the 
amount of the moneys embezzled was, is not stated. 

That this state of affairs was common elsewhere is 
probable, for in 1819 an Act was passed to allow the house- 
holders and occupiers to appoint a Select Vestry for the 
administration of the Poor Law, in hopes of securing a 
more rational management. 

Following on the dismissal of the fraudulent Overseer, 
such a Select Vestry of 19 was elected by the Yestry at 

l 2 

140 The Importance anci Value of Local Records. 

Dolgelley in July, 1822, and new Overseers appointed for 
six months at £10 lOs. Another Select Yestry was ap- 
pointed on December 20th, bnt for some reason or other 
it ceased to function after April, 1823, when the General 
Yestry again assumed control and stuck to it. The latter 
in April, 1823, appointed a new Assistant Overseer on £24 
per annum, raised the following year to £30, and in 1826 
to £40, reduced in 1827 to £36, at which rate it remained 
constant until the Board of Guardians was set up. 

During ihe period 1822 to 1837 the accounts appear to 
have been properly kept, and no further case of misappro- 
priation occurred. 

The Yestry Clerk, whose dnties were ]>nrelv secretarial, 
was paid £2 2s. per anniira from 1801 to 1818, £3 3s. per 
annum from 1818 to 1823, £5 in 1823, £2 from 1824 to 
1827, and £4 from 1827 to 1856, when his remuneration 
was again raised to £5 per annum. The Town Crier re- 
ceived 2s. 6d. in 1796, a remuneration which was increased 
in 1833 to lOs. 

So far we have been dealing with the executive offìcials 
of the Yestry. Was it possible in the period to have secured 
a better quality? Apparently yes, for it is quite clear thal 
literacy was fairly high in the locality (this is obvious froni 
the signatures appearing from time to time), and that there 
were men of ability in the locality. But, nevertheless, the 
control of matters w T as largely with the illiterate or the 
corrupt. Save the curate, and later on the Bector — and he 
only occasionally — it was rare that men of position and 
ability took part in the ordinary administration of the 

The reason, no doubt, was that common sin of "\Yelsh 
small town life, jealousy of ability and knowledge on the 
one hand and disinclination on the other to come into the 
market place and compete with the " ring ". It is only. 

The Importance and Value of Local Records. 141 

therefore, on occasions of stress that we find men of 
standing appearing at the Yestry. Whenever any matter 
of importance is mooted, whenever a mess has to be 
straightened out, then the man of knowledge is brought 
in, to be discarded as soon as the crisis is over. 

Such, without entering into details, is the story of the 
Dolgelley Yestry, the ordinary meetings of which, dealing 
with the Poor Law administration, remained to the end 
mainly meetings of the uneducated or those with axes to 

2. Thc Burden of Rates. 

We may turn now to a review of the total burdens 
imposed by the Poor Law upon the neighbourhood. 

It must be borne in mind that the Yestry Registers 

do not contain accounts. These were kept, if kept at all, 

separately, and are no longer in existence. So far as the 

total burdens are concerned, we have nothing to go upon 

save the rate per £ sanctioned by the Yestry from time 

to time. We have not even the assessment value of the 

parish given us, and that assessment value varied from 

time to time. This variation will be dealt with later. We 

are, however, not without assistance in arriving at an ap- 

proximate estiniate of the total annual burden of the rates, 

for in March, 1837, at the very end of the period, the 

Register contains the following : — 

"That a rate sufficient to raise £264/14/4, the estimate now 
produced (that is for a quarter's relief), be allowed," 

and a rate of 2s. 3d. in the £ was accordingly voted. In 

the same year we find a Church rate of ls. in the £ esti- 

mated to produce £117. 

This was 011 the rateable value arrived at in 1831, so 

it can be asserted that, from 1831 on, rates of 2s. 3d. and 

ls. were roughly equivalent to a yield of £264 14s. 4d. and 

£117 respectively, or in other words that a penny rate 

14- T/ie împortance and Ÿalue of Local Rccords. 

yielded £10. Up to 1831 a penny rate obviously produced 
less, for the property assessed was more limited, and, so 
far as can be judged, up to that date a penny rate yielded 
a rough average of £7 lOs. 

On this basis, as the Register gives the quarterly rate 
practically without omission from 1705 to 1837, we can 
arrive at an approximate estimate of the levy for poor 

Columns 4 and 5 of Appendix I. give the figures (a) of 
the annual rates levied, and (b) the estimated annual yield. 

It will be observed that there were six " quarterly ' 
rates levied in 1801 (a year of great distress throughout 
the country), and five in 182(3, that the period of greatest 
prosperity was from 1803 to 1811, after which there was, 
with occasional fluctuations, a progressive increase. 

The poor-rate levy was, however, not the only source 
available for the relief of the poor. 

Leaving apart for the time being special levies for 
other purposes than poor relief . we find the Yestry at times 
borrowing money. In 1801 £100 was raised on interest ; 
in 1817 various sums from different people totalling .£171 ; 
in 1826 £50 from the Bank, nominally for two months, 
but even seven years later the major portion was still 
unpaid, for in 1833 we find a resolution that " the Over- 

seers do go and humbly solicit Messrs. J & W , 

bankers, to wait until the Summer Quarter for the pay- 
ment of £40 due from the Parish ". 

Occasionally also we find mention of charitable gifts. 
ln 1790 £5, under the will of Mrs. Catherine Meyrick, 
was distributed among 160 of the poor, and we have refer- 
ences now and again to a still existing charity known as 
the Faenol Charity. 

This was a beqüesi by one William Jolm Evans of a 
iaiin in Towyn, the income from which was to be devoted 

T/ie Importance and Value of Local Records. 143 

to the purchase of 32 penny loaves to be distributed in the 
Churchyard every Sunday. This bequest was under the 
control of the Eector and churchwardens, not the Vestry, 
and so the references to it in the Eegister are few. In 
1796 the income of £23 4s. 6d. was paid out in relief to 
22 people ; in 1797 £9 19s. 6d. to 10 ; but thereafter there 
is no mention of it until 1857, when it appears that the 
rental of the farm had, up till then, been £21 a year. 

Another charity comprised the bequests of John David 
and Ursula Owen, bequests in 1827 of £84, the interest of 
which was to be distributed in white bread every Sunday 
to the poor. This was invested at 3J per cent. in the 
Eector's name, as trustee, in a mortgage on the tolls of 
the Dolgelley Turnpike Trust. 

Yet another was the David Jones bequest of £20, the 

interest of which was to be distributed at Christmas by 

' the heirs of Brynrhug and the Overseers of the Parish ". 

In 1832 we have the solitary mention of an income of 
£30 from the rent of the Green, " the overplus for the 
use of the Township of Dolgelley ' ' paid into the Vestry 
accounts ; but, as under the Enclosures Act of 1811 the 
town became entitled to this income, and still enjoys it, 
it is certain that the Vestry had all along had some addi- 
tional sum from this source at its command. 

3. Tìic Application oj the Rates. 

How was this money, derived from rates and other 
sources , employed ? 

Primarily, of course, in poor relief ; and the mode of 
its distribution is apparent from the Eegister ; but here, 
as in the case of " total annual burdens ", the Eegister 
is not an account book. All it shows is the amount of 
' new " expenditure sanctioned in any one year. There 
is no list anywhere of the total number of paupers on the 

144 ^ lc Iwportance and Ÿalue of Local Records. 

books in any year, merely a record of orders passed on 
individual cases as they arose. 

The total nuniber of " new " cases dealt with and the 
t-otal of the " new " expenditure sanctioned each year are 
given in columns 2 and 3 of Appendix I. The proportion 
between " new expenditure " (column 3) and " estimated 
total annual burden " (column 5) varies considerably ; luit 
tlhs is explained to a large extent by the fact (a) that ex- 
penditure includes items besides poor relief, and by the 
faet (b) that there was a permanent list of recipients .of 
relief which does not appear in the Register. 

Nevertheless, the Register gives us indications of the 
size of the " permanent ' list. It states, occasionally, 
that the list of those in receipt of weekly reliefs (not 
settlements, casual reliefs, etc.) has been checked with a 
view to alteration where possible. Some adjustments were 
made — increase or decrease in allowances — and in such 
adjustments the list number of the pauper so dealt 
with is quoted. In 1828, when there were only 37 " new ' 
recipients, there were at least 194 paupers on the perma- 
nent list ; in 1831 as against 72 " new " reliefs we find 
198 " permanent " ones ; in 1833 the figures are '21 and 
178, so it is clear that there was a constant population of 
at least 150 in receipt of weeldy doles over and above the 
new accretions made annually.- 

A " new relief " might mean a permanent addition ; 
it niight be a relief for a term ; but its continuance or 
discontinuance, whether by death, change of circum- 
stances, or other cause, is not noted. 

Appendix II gives details of ' new expenditure ", 
showing roughly the classes under which the expenditure 
fell. The four principal forms of relief were " weeldy 
doles ", " settlements ", casual reliefs ", and " rents ' 
Uliese are niy own terms), and the figures vary consider- 

The Importance and Value of Local Records. 145 

ably under each head. Much depended on the idiosyncracy 
for the time being of the Yestry, and so we find a run at 
one time on " \veekly doles ", at another on ' settle- 
nients " and so on ; and sometimes it is difficult to deter- 
mine whether a particular relief is by way of weekly dole 
or settlement. A small margin for error in classification 
must, therefore, be allowed for, but the totals of recipients 
and expenditure are accurate. 

The figures in columns 2 and 3 of Appendix 11 require 
little elucidation. In some cases the lowest rate is an 
addition to an existing allowance ; but the highest figure 
does give some indication of what was the minimum sum 
on which people could live in the period. Naturally the 
rate varied ; but 011 a rough average it would appear that 
it was possible for a single person to exist on 4s. to 4s. 6d. 
per week throughout the period. 

The figures for settlements also vary considerably ; but 
the amount paid for a settlement depended on the utility 
of the person " sett " to the person with whom " sett ", 
and on the power of bargaining. 

What happened was that a list of ' paupers " to be 
' sett ' (or as the Register, with unconscious humour, 
occasionally reads, " lett ") was prepared, and the Vestry 
then bargained with people ready to take over charge of 
the individual paupers. Argument was obviously lengthy 
at tiines, and sometimes it took several meetings of the 
Yestry before the list was got through. 

An amusing entry in 1831 illustrates the procedure : 
' This Yestry do give leave that f'ew of the parishioners 

do meet this day to try to bargain with R J with 

respect to J , the son of J — - J , mariner ". 

It is unfortunate that, except on rare occasions, we 
derive no information, save as to sex, about the paupers 
settled ; but it appears that able-bodied men and women, 

146 The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

old and infimi, and children were all dealt with by this 
method, and that " paupers " were " sett " for varying 
periods of one to five years. 

It is in these " settlements " that we have illustra- 
tions of some of the scandals and demoralizing effects of 
the Pöor Law administration of the time. These results 
were common everywhere, and it is unnecessary to refer 
to observations of writers of the period on the matter. 

Perhaps the worst feature of the Poor Law system, 
before its reform, was that able-bodied persons, perfectly 
well able to support their dependants, threw the latter on 
to the parish. There are numerous instances in the Eegis- 
ter where men and women received doles for the mainten- 
ance of their wives and husbands, fathers and mothers, 
brothers and sisters, and even of their own children ; there 
are instances where people refused to accept relatives on 
the terms offered by the Yestry, and the latter were then 
>l sett " to complete strangers. 

Writers of the time complain bitterly of the eft'ect 
upon morals, and assert that people were actually paid by 
the parish to maintain their own illegitimate children. 
There are only two such instances in the Dolgelley Eegis- 
ter ; and, it may be noted, passim, that the amount of 
bastardy in the locality at the time, as indicated by the 
Birth Eegisters, was less marked than it is to-day. 

On the other hand, we find the Vestry insisting on four 
occasions on the father of the child paying the parish for 
its maintenance. In 1810 we have the entry : — 

" Ordered that Mr. H W be directed to take the 

necessary steps to recover the Money due from J. W. P , 

Esquire, for the maintenance of his Bastard Cliild by A 

L ." 

In 1812, " Agreed with O— - W to accept £14/- (to 

be paid in one month from this day) in discharge of any claim 

that tnay be made 011 his brother, AV— O . for the main- 

tenance of his bastard child by E G ." 

The Importance and Valuc of Local Rccords. 147 

In 1826, " Ordered that the Overseer do write to T 

H for the payment of £8/- towards his bastard child." 

1 1 1 1833, " That the Overseers do agree with "W L ■ 

with respect to his natural son for the sum of £20/-." 

Contrary, therefore, to the general denunciations of 
the time, and even to popular impressions of to-day, the 
Vestry and Birth Registers give no indication that the 
Poor Law system made for sexual immorality in this 
neighbourhood . 

A more prominent scandal in regard to " settlements ' 
is the fact that there appear to have been professional 
farmers of paupers, including some of the overseers, 
churchwardens, farmers and tradesmen of the locality. 
They did not, by any means, stand alone, for we fìnd some 
of the principal landowners accepting able-bodied men 
and women set to them for lump sums, and even the 
Rector himself, in 1819 and 1820, was not averse from 
benefiting at the expense of the rates in this way. What 
it meant in practice was that pauper men and women were 
fed, housed, and clothed by those they were set to in 
return for a lump sum and services. An undertaking to 
pay any wages to a pauper ' ' sett ' occurs in only one 
instance in the course of 42 years. 

The distribution of casual reliefs calls for no remark ; 
but it was clearly not a popular method until towards the 
end of the period. 

The payments of paupers' rents was everywhere a 
terrible scandal. What often happened elsewhere was 
that landowners demolished many cottages, depopulating 
rural areas in consequence, in order to prevent strangers 
ácquiring a " settlement " in their parishes and becoming 
chargeable thereto. With the shortage of houses created 
artificially, owners of remaining houses were able to de- 
mand higher rents, and as the parish had to house its own 
paupers, it had to pay heavy toll in the way of rents to 

148 The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

house owners for such accommodation as was avail- 

With the exception, however, of une case, where a 
landowner was in 1830 paid £2 to put his own cottage into 
repair, this operated only to a very limited extent in 
Dolgelley, for the Sir Robert Yaughan of the time and 
on a smaller scale, Mr. Hugh Reveley were public spirited 
and built fairly extensively in the early part of the cen- 
tury. Practically nothing has been done since their days 
to provide cottage accommodation. Their efforts are 
evidenced by the fact that the Parish paid but few rents 
i'roni 1803 to 1836 and by the fact that rents did not soar 
throughout the period. The minimum and maximuni 
rents of 1795 (7s. to 32s. per annum) were maintained 
right up to 1836 (7s. to 20s. per annum) with little varia- 
tion. The one apparent exception is the £7 lOs. of 1796, 
but this was a special case where the rent of a farm occu- 
pied by a parishioner was paid to Sir Robert Yaughan by 
the Yestry. 

It seems to have been one of the misdemeanours of 
the midwife Overseer that she had not paid rents, which 
she had been ordered to pay, for in 1822 we have the 
following entry : — 

" It having appeared to the Vestry that the half-year's 
rent due from Xovr 12th 1821 to May 1822 ought in justice 
to he paid where it is fairly due, ordered that a rate of 1/- 
in the £ he eollected for that purpose in the next Quarter, and 
that the Overseers do now pay rent due to May last, and in 
the next quarter that due to November last." 

The " miscellaneous " reliefs, afforded niainly in kind s 
are very heterogeneous, and occasionally of value as show- 
ing prices, and as illustrative of customs and manners. 

Sometimes urgent cases were relieved by a " gather- 
ing " or a " collection in Church ". Such occurred in 
1790, 1796, 1799, 1801, 1802, 1806, 1809, 1810, 1812, 1813, 

The Importance and Value of Local Records. 149 

1816, 1817, 1819, 1834 and 1836, and at times we get 
indications of how much a " collection " was expeeted to 
produce, the lowest estimate being 8s. and the highest £2. 

Eates and taxes due by particular paupers were re- 
mitted in 1795. 1813. 1816, 1818, 1830, 1833 and 1836. 

Clothing, generally of flannel, was given in 1795, 
1799, 1800, 1801, 1806. 1810, 1811, 1816, 1824, 1826, 1827, 
1828 (when we learn that a man could be fully clothed for 
15s.), 1829, 1831, 1835 (when it is stated that a child could 
be clothed for 5s.), and 1836. 

Shoes were distributed in 1796, 1797. 1799, 1801, L802, 
1806, 1812, 1816, 1818 (when 5s. was paid for a pair), 
1822, 1823 (at the same price as in 1818), 1824, 1825, 
1826, 1827, 1828 (when they cosl 9s. 6d. per pair), 1829, 
1830, 1831, 1832, L834, 1835. and 1836 ; and it is interest- 
ing to note that " clogs ", which were given in 1800, 1801, 
cease to be mentioned thereafter. 

Flour and grain were given in varying quantities : rye 
in 1795 (when a quarter was valued at 2s. 2d.), 1796, 
1800 (when the " strike " measnre is quoted), and 1830 : 
barìey at 17s. 6d. the measure in 1801 ; oatmeal in 18:50 ; 
wheat in 1822 and 1836 ; and white loaves in 1796. 

The commonest form of produce gifts was, however, 
potatoes, which were given partly for planting purposes, 
partly as food relief. Potatoes were first distributed in 
1818, and thereafter in 1820, 1824, 1826. 1827, 1828, 1829, 
1830, 1831, 1834 and 1836. 

Seed grain is mentioned only on one occasion, namely 
in 1832. 

Firing in the way of turf (from one to six loads at a 
time) was provided in 1797, 1800, 1801, 1810, 1828, 1830 
and 1836 (when a load cost 6s. 6d.) : and a ton of coal on 
one occasion only in 1833. 

Assistance in the way of material and implements for 

150 The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

trades and handicrafts is frequent, and illustrates, to some 
extent, the pursuits of the people. 

We fincì ' cards ' for weaving given in 1800, 1801, 
180-2, 1829, 1833, 1834 and 1836 (when they cost 5s. 9d.) ; 

in 1822, E T- - was allowed £ 1 12s. " towards buy- 

ing a spring etc, for weaving " ; in 1829 one man was 
given 30s. to buy a loom, and another 30s. for a " spring 
and slmttle " ; in 1831 30s. was expended in purchasing a 
spinning jenny ; and in 1834 8s. was paid to a pauper to 
buy cotton yarn. In 1829 the Overseers were directed to 
buy a loom which was to belong to the parish, and let out 
as occasion required to paupers. This was a repetition of 
a similar orcler of 1822 to the effect that " the Overseers 
do buy a loom or two for the use of the parish, and to lend 
them to paupers occasionally ". In 1801 a smith was 
allowed £2 12s. 6d. to buy a new anvil, and 2s. 6d. were 
given to a shearer to ' mend his shears ". In 1802 a 
pedlar was granted 30s. to buy " pedlery (sic) ware " ; in 

1804 G E was given £6 " towards a share of a 

boat " ; in 1812 the local harper, a blind man, was given 
a new harp. Something went wrong with it, for next year 
he received £3 towards buying another, but it was pro- 
vided this time that ' ' the harp do belong to the parish 
until it's paid ". He was also provided with 5s. a week 
'* until he can get a place to play in ". 

In 1821 a worker in leather was given £5 worth of 
leather, and in 1830 there is an entry of 8s. 2d. given to 
buy ' ' short nets ' ' . 

Medical relief is also referred to. In 1797 a " doctor's 
bill at Barmouth " is discharged, the patient having been 
in Barmouth for a fortnight in the preceding year at a cost 
to the parish of 3s. 6d. a week for food and lodging. In 
1802 a medical bill of 19s. is paid ; in 1810 it is ordered 
that " Mr. D O , surgeon, be directed to adminis- 

The Importance and Value of Local Records. 1 5 1 

ter medical assistance to J- - for about 5s. a \veek 

for a month or thereabouts " ; in 1816 a doctor was paid 
an unspecified amount ; in 1823 another doctor's bill of 
£1 ls. was met ; in 1826 another of 8s. ; in 1830 one of 
30s., plus 15s. to a nurse ; in 1833 another of unspecified 
amount, while in 1836 2s. 6d. were paid for leeches. 

Tn 1831 there was a dispute with a Bala doctor over 
his charges, and the Overseers were directed " to go to 

Bala on a market day, and tender Dr. W the sum of 

£5 to discharge his demand against this parish ". 

For a while the parish appears to have tried the ex- 
pedient of having a " parish doctor", for in 1825 it is 

ordered tliat " Mr. E 's surgeon salary f'or the present 

year be £16, contingeneies as before " ; and in 1826 that 

' Mr. E surgeon be continued to act as Surgeon &c 

to the Parish for this year with the same salary as last 

Associated with medical relief are two items in 1826. 
a blind man being sent that year to the School for Indi- 
gent Blind at Liverpool " to learn a trade ", the parish 
paying *_'•"> 4s. per annmn and supplying him with clothes ; 
and a lunatic being placed in the Liverpool Lunatic 
Asylum. [nsanity, it may be noted, was rare ; there are 
only two other cases mentioned in a hundred years. 

Funeral expenses were also paid. The only specific 
instance, however, of a non-pauper's funeral recorded is 
in 1836, when 14s. were expended on a child's funeral ; 
but we have a series of references to contracts made with 
local carpenters to supply coffins, etc. In 1812 lls. 6d. 
was allowed per coffin ; in 1816 the rate was reduced to 
10s., a rate which continued to be paid until 1834. when 
the price was reduced to 7s. 6d., and in the case of " coffins 
for unbaptized children " to ls., an entry which conjures 
up rather a gruesome picture. In 1829 parish shronds 

152 The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

were contracted for at 3s. Gd. each, and candles at 4d., an 
interesting reference to a now extinct custom. 

Another activity of the Vestry on its Poor Law side 
was the apprenticing of children, an activity indulged in 
only spasmodically. 

In 1795 a boy was apprenticed to a tailor for two years 
with a premium of £3 12s. 6d., and, under a specific be- 
quest for the apprenticing of " poor boys", three were 
apprenticed to unstated trades with premia of £3 12s. 6d., 
£2 10s., and £2. Tn 1796 four boys were apprenticed, one 
to a tailor for four years with a premium of £3 10s., one 
to a shoemaker for two years, premium £2 5s., two for 
five and three years respectively (trade not stated) with 
premia of 30s. For many years thereafter there were 
no apprenticings. Tn 1810 a boy was apprenticed as a 
" nailer " for 30s. ; in 1818 another as a tailor for two 
years with a premium of 25s. ; in 1819 one to a " straw 
hat manufacturer " without premium, and a second to a 
shoemaker, who, in lieu of a premium, was paid ls. a 

Thereafter " premia " rose rapidly. Tn 1822 £6 were 
paid for apprenticing a boy to a tailor for two years ; in 
1823, £7 lOs. and a pair of shoes and £7 3s. for two boys 
in the same trade for three years ; in 1821 one boy was 
apprenticed for three years to a tailor at £7, one to a shoe- 
maker for four years at £7 10s., one to a weaver for ten 
months at £2 5s., and another to a shoemaker for two 
years with ls. 6d. per week " towards his victuals, and the 
last year to be paid for his work by his master ". In 1826 
three boys were apprenticed for three years each to tailors 
with premia of £7, £7, and £4 respectively, and in 1827 
one to a shoemaker for fchree years at £10 and two pairs 
of shoes. 

Tn 1829 it was decreed " that the Yestry do not appren- 

The Importance and Value of Local Records. 1 5 

tice a lad to any trade whatever until he appears before 
the Vestry that every possible encouragement may be given 
to bring up lads as farmers ". The last apprenticeship 
paid for out of the rates was in 1831, when a boy was ap- 
prenticed for five years to a blacksmith at £8, plus £5 for 
clothing, the boy ' ' to receive a shilling a week from his 
employer in the last year ". 

In the meantime a bequest of £10 made in 1827 by one 
Humphrey Jones was increased to £100 out of the rates 
and invested as a permanent ' apprenticeship fund ' ' , 
yielding £3 per annum, two years' income being applied 
biennially to apprentice sometimes two children at £3 
each, sometimes one child at £6, the trades selected being 
shoemalnng, tailoring, sldnning, weaving, joinery, slating, 
cabinet-making and wheelwrighting, and two girls to 
" learn sewing for two years ". To-day it is practically 
impossible to find a single person in the neighbourhood 
with even an elementary knowledge of any of these men's 
trades. This is due entirely to the decay of apprentice- 

This apprenticing continued up to 1861, when, for 
some reason not apparent, the administration of the fund 

The fund was misused in some cases, for no less than 
seven boys were from time to time apprenticed with 
premia to their own fathers, and one of the " poor boys ' 
benefiting under the charity was the son of a very well- 
to-do tradesman, needless to say a prominent figure in the 

An interesting form of ' assistance ' was that of 

emigration abroad. In 1823 O G was allowed £3 

' towards enabling his sister to go to America, a note of 
hand being deposited in the hands of the Overseer for £5, 
in addition to the £3 allowed by the Parish ", from which 


154 The Importance and Vahie of Local Records. 

it may be inferred that £8 sumced to travel as an emigrant 
from Dolgelley to the States. 

In 1824 it was agreed that ' ' the Vestry do consent 

allowing M. W some assistance towards enabling her 

and íive children to go to America, where her husband is 
at present " ; in 1831 R.J. was allowed £10 towards going 
to America, and in 1832 there is an interesting entry which 
throws light on the arrangements necessary for emigra- 
tion. In that year it was ordered that : — 

" H.C. . . tailor and family be assisted in the sum that 
will defray their expenses to go to America, and that the 
Asst Overseer do go with him to Liverpool to make the best 
possible eontract he can with the contractor there. The money 
be borrowed, and that £10/- be paid July next, and the 
remainder by the same instalments yearly at that time, until 
the whole expence with legal interest is wholly paid ". 

Miscellaneous travelling expenses also appear, and 
throw some light on what it cost to get from one place to 

In 1799 M.G. was allowed lOs. 6d. " to take her to her 
mother in London " ; in 1814 a woman was allowed £2 
travelling expenses to Liverpool ; in 1823 a man was given 
lOs. to go to Worcester, and 25s. were allotted to J.C. " to 
go to Scilly with his family " ; in 1829 E.W. was allowed 
£á " to enable him to go to the wells at Dyffryn for the 
benefit of his health " ; in 1831 £3 were given to a woman 
transferring herself to Ireland ; and in 1833 30s. were 
given to M.J. ' to enable her to return to her parish, 
Cripplegate, London ". 

Education was not a heavy charge on the rates, as it 
has since become. The Grammar School was a " free ' 
school for a dozen or so boys ; it was endowed by Church 
benefactions, sadly mismanaged until the thirties ; and 
towards the end of the period the Church opened its 
' National " Schools, which cost the ratepayers nothing. 

The Importance and Value of Local Records. 155 

Most people in those days paid for education, if they 
wanted it, as they paid for föod and clothing. It is almost 
heresy to suggest it ; but it is an open question as to 
whether the neighbourhood was less " educated ", in the 
real sense of the term, than it is to-day, when money is 
poured out like water with mighty little result. 

However that may be, the only instance of expenditure 
out of the rates occurs in 1825, when the Yestry decided 
that " 4s. a week for a twelvemonth be allowed J.P. to 
support him at the National School, Bangor, where 6s. a 
week is wanted ", the difference of 2s. being made up by 
Sir Robert Vaughan. 

There are a few miscellaneous items of relief and ex- 
penditure, which are worth noting as illustrative of the 
varied activities of the Vestry. In 1807 £1 lls. 6d. were 
paid " towards conveying the household stuff of D.T.'s 
widow ". In 1809 it was ordered that " E.O., a ballotted 
man, be paid the sum of £6, his substitute having died 
prior to an order having been made by a Magistrate ". 
Merioneth levies were, in those days, garrisoning Deal 
and Dover, and other echoes of this fact are found in other 
entries. In 1795 it was ordered that the " money received 
for purchasing a man to serve in the militia instead of 
R.P. should be given for that purpose " ; in 1798 £8 was 
allowed " towards a substitute to serve in the Militia " ; 
in 1796 6d. in the £ was levied on the parish to " compleat 
the tax imposed for raising men to serve in the Marines 
for the parish " ; while in 1810, the Overseer of the Parish 
was authorized " to borrow on the credit of the parish a 
sufficient sum to pay the allowance due to the respective 
families of the local Militia for this county, now in actual 
service, until the same be repaid by the Receiver 
General ". Dilatoriness and red tape in the War Office is 

no new thing. 

m 2 

156 The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

In 1805 " it was settled in feuter (sic) that for killing 
a Fox the sum of 10/- " should be paid ; and in 1817 we 
have the entry : — - 

" Allowed for killing a fox the sum of 10/6 for eyerj- Old 
Fos and 5/- for every young cubs untill after the 12th day of 
August " ; 

and in 1814 it was ordered that the Overseer ' ' do pay £5 
for R.P.'s cow which is to remain the property of the 
Parish & marked by the Overseer ". 

4. Attempts at Reducing Expenditure. 

If we look at the Appendices we cannot fail to be 
struck by the fact that though the figures of ' new re- 
cipients " never, except in 1831, approach those of 1800-1 
— in fact there is a marked decrease — the total expenditure 
frequently, almost invariably, exceeds that of the famine 
period. What is the reason? Partly it would seem that 
the additions to the ' ' permanent list ' ' exceeded annually 
the diminutions occasioned by death or other causes ; in 
other words, because once a community, even in a period 
of distress, becomes accustomed to relief , the habit of de- 
manding its continuance becomes ingrained in that com- 
munity , that is ' ' poor relief ' ' tends to become ' ' a right 
to maintenance ' ' , with the consequence that there is ex- 
treme difriculty in bringing about a reduction when the 
urgency which brought ' ' relief ' ' into being has passed 
away. Reduction means a determined, but unpopular, 
eífort against which all sorts of vested interests are arrayed. 
Moreover, there is an ineradicable tendency for the dis- 
tribution of poor relief to corrupt not only the recipients 
but also the distributors. 

Both of these facts are illustrated by the Dolgelley 

There are no indications whatsoever of any effort béing 

The Importance and Value of Local Recoi'ds. 157 

made to reduce expenditure up to 1819. In that year, it 
is stated that " every reduction possible (has been) made 
that circumstances would admit to weekly paupers " ; but 
whatever reductions were then made had no effect upon 
total expenditure. 

In 18-2-2, when the old regime of illiteracy and mid- 
wifery came to an end, we do arrive at some attempts 
at improYÌng matters, but we can only regard them as 
pathetic. In that year some attempt at method was con- 
sidered, and it was decided that all " quarterly payments 
(are) to be demanded & settled in the quarter, & the Poor 
to settle their accounts every quarter, or not to expect 
their money from the Vestry afterwards " . In the same 
year it is recorded that " in consequence of the low price 
of corn & other food, the Vestry have thought proper to 
reduce the allowance to the poor of this parish ' ' , but it is 
dubious if the proposed reductions were put into operation, 
for the record is immediately followed by another in these 
words, " but it having been represented to the Vestry that 
the weight of the loaf of bread is not in conformity or 
equal to the price of corn, it is ordered by the Vestry that 
a petition be presented by them to the Magistrates of this 
district, most respectfully requesting that the Assize of 
Bread be regularly taken & made in pursuance of the 
existing Acts of Parliament ". 

In 1821 it was directed that ' ' any person heeping a 
dog shall have 110 relief from this parish " ; and at a sub- 
sequent meeting that ' ' no relief be given in f uture to any 
poor person belonging to this parish while there is a clock 
or any useless furniture in the house, & that all the other 
goods be marked with the parish mark ". 

In 1828 small reductions were made in the weekly 
allowances of 51 weeldy paupers ; in 1831 37 paupers had 
their allowances reduced to the extent of 30s. 2d. per week, 

158 The tmportance anci Value of Local Records. 

partly compensated for by an increase in the allowances 
of 27 others to the extent of 9s. 5d. per week, and more 
than made up by the granting of no less than 138 casual 
reliefs totalling £38 13s. ; in 1831 it was ordered that the 
' ' Crier do proclaim that the Overseer will not be respon- 
sible for paupers incurring debts by ' truck ' , but to pay 
each pauper in money " ; in 1832 it was ordered that ' ' no 
farmer do expect any pauper debts to be paid by the 
Parish ' ' ; and in 1833 16 paupers had their weekly allow- 
ances reduced to the extent of 13s. 9d. per week, while 10 
others had their increased by 4s. 

These are the only instances — none of them represent- 
ing a reduction of £50 in the year — of any attempt at 
grappling with the problem of reducing the amount of 
' ' poor relief ' ' , the expenditure on which was one of the 
main causes for the decline in the town's trade. 

The time-honoured dodge, which is being repeated to- 
day, of making things look better by extending the area 
of or valuation for assessment, with a view to reducing the 
rate per £ , was tried more than once ; but , though no 
doubt some individual assessees benefited, so far from 
alleviating the burden on the community as a whole, 
extensions only gave the Vestry more money to play about 
with. Öide by side with it there was corruption in the 
process of re-assessment. 

The year 1801 was, as we have seen, a period of 
financial stress. Not only were the ordinary rates levied 
five times instead of four, but an extra levy of 2s. was also 
imposed. This resulted in a complaint " by some of the 
parishioners of the inequality of the present rate " ; and 
a proposal to make a new and more equal one was put for- 
ward, " which we, the undersigned, being a majority of 
the meeting, do most highly approve of & will endeavour 
to accomplish ". The complaint resulted in a decision tliat 

The Importance and Value of Local Records. 159 

' all lands & houses charged with the land-tax shall be 
assessed according to the sums they are respectively 
charged to the land-tax ". 

There was some reduction in the rate for a time, but 
when in 1810 the rates began to rise again, the question 
cropped up once more, and there was another plea for a 
further widening of the basis of assessment, for it is 
recorded " that at a Yestry held for the purpose of taking 
into consideration the proposal made for assessing houses 
& other property to the Poor Eate, not assessed to the land- 
tax ; the proposal being taken into consideration, resolved 
that the assessment for the next quarter be made upon the 
rate fixed in such proposal ". 

There was a temporary drop in the rate the following 
year ; but it began to soar again immediately, and, with 
occasional fluctuations, it went on rising until the rate 
of lOs. in the £ became a more or less fixed one in the 
region of 16s. 

There were murmurings from time to time, and then 
in April, 1830, it was resolved " that the old rate of the 
parish is unequal, & that the parish be re-rated, tahing in 
every species of property rateable according to law. It 
was also resolved that the above propositions be published 
by advertizements or handbills, to request all persons who 
are willing & capable to undertake it do send to the 
Churchwardens & other publick offìcers of the parish their 
proposals for doing so ". 

The result forms a strildng illustration of ineptitude. 
One Eowland Jones, apparently quite unqualified for the 
task, came forward with some proposals, promising to re- 
rate the whole parish in six weeks. What the proposals 
were is not stated, but he was immediately appointed to 
re-rate, being promised £50 for doing so. A " Committee ' ; 
(blessed word and institution) was also appointed to ' ' ob- 

ióo The Imp07'tance and Value of Local Records. 

ject to any item " in the matured proposals, the majority 
vote thereon to prevail. 

The majority could agree neither with the Assessor 
nor among themselves ; and when an impasse had been 
reached, the Vestry proceeded to appoint a new " commit- 
tee ", one of landlords (men, as it happened, with some 
experience of valuation, who might have been consulted 
at the start) to consider the valuation made. This com- 
mittee would have nothing to do with the matter as things 
stood, and then in January, 1831, we get the following 
resolutions : — 

" That no rate be levied on the raluation of the Parish 
delivered to the Vestry by Mr. Rowland Jones, his valuation 
being proved to be incorrect ", and 

" That Mr. Rowland Jones hath not fulülled his contract 
with the Parish of Dolgelley, inasmuch as he has put down 
lands and tenements in his valuation as having been valued 
by him, which he has never loohed over or made any enquiries 
of the holders or occupiers of the said lands and tenements, 
as to the other boundaries and other necessary particulars ; 
therefore, Mr. Rowland Jones is not entitled to the sum of 
£50/-, which was named at a former Vestry ; nevertheless, 
this Vestry is of opinion that Mr. Rowland Jones ought to 
be compensated for his trouble. It is agreed that a Com- 
mittee be named and elected to find a proper person to re-rate 
the parish, and that the Committee may appoint any person 
they think proper, provided that person is not a Steward or 
Agent to any of the landed proprietors, or in any way con- 
nected with the parish ". 

The Committee nominated consisted almost exclusively 
of " landed proprietors ". Now there was some cause for 
the bar placed by the Vestry on ' ' stewards ' ' and ' ' agents ' ' , 
for the stewards and agents of the landed proprietors had 
rather distinguished themselves for dilatoriness and cor- 
ruption in their proceedings under the Enclosures Acts, 
but the hopeless ineptitude of the " popular " Vestry, first 
in ignoring those qualified to deal with the matter and 
appointing one utterly unqualified, and then, on discover- 

The Importance and Vahie of Local Records. iói 

ing the impasse their action had led them into, asldng for 
help in terms calculated to secure a rebuff, ended, as it 
was boimd to end, in a refusal of the newly-appointed 
Committee to sit. 

The next step was to try and buy off Mr. Bowland 
Jones, who was vociferously demanding his £50, and 
eventually in September, the Vestry resolved " we hereby 

authorize Mr. L. P of the Bank to make a compro- 

mise with Bowland Jones for his services in re-rating the 
parish. We limit him to £2,5 ". 

Apparently Mr. Eowland Jones accepted the £25 (not 
a bad reward for six weeks' incompetent work), but the 
Parish remained still un-rated. In despair, the Vestry, 
consisting for the occasion of three illiterates and two 
others, " unanimously agreed that the Churchwardens & 
Overseers do fix a rate upon every house & landed property 
that is not already rated in this parish, & the Church- 
wardens & Overseers are ordered by the Vestry to go & fix 
a rate upon the af oresaid property ' ' . 

The Churchwardens and Overseers declined to budge 
without a quid pro quo, so, some months later, the Vestry 
resolved that — 

" it is unanimously agreed that the Churchwardens and 
Overseers do re-rate the Parish forthwith, and that the sum 
of ten guineas be allowed them for their trouble ". 

Apparently they did re-rate, but not very satisfactorily. 
There were some law-suits, and in 1836 the question 
cropped up again. One of the Assessors appears to have 
been the tenant of the Angel Inn, and possibly that 
accounts for the fact that in 1836 the Vestry ordered that 

" the persons wlio rated the parish do make a more 
equitable adjustment upon the Lion Inn, the Angel Inn, and 
the Ship Inn, separating the rate upon the farms and out- 
buildings from the rates upon the houses severally ". 

The particular Assessor was shortly afterwards in 

iÓ2 Tke Importance and Value of Local Records. 

trouble with his Church accounts, and his activities as 
churchwarden were soon dispensed with by the Eector. 

The jurisdiction of the A 7 estry in regard to Poor Eelief 
ended in the beginning of the following year ; but the 
matter of assessment was not yet fmished with , for the new 
Board of Guardians entered into the lists, and in 1838 the 
Vestry was summoned ' ' for the purpose of taking into 
consideration a communication from the Board of Guar- 
dians of the Dolgelley Union relative to the valuing of this 
parish for the purposes of the new Parochial Amendment 

The " consideration " ended in a pathetic resolution : 

" that the parish having been recently valued for the 
purposes of the Poor Rate at a great expenee, it is deemed 
unneeessary to incur the expence of another valuation, and 
that it will answer the requirements of the new Parochial 
Amendment Act to treble the rateable value settled by the 
last valuation, and to assess the Poor Rate thereon accord- 

This apparently was done and other property brought 
in, for the approximate valuation of £'2,500 became in a 
very few years a valuation of just under £12,000. 

5. Friction icith tlic Board of Guardians. 

When the Vestry lost its control of Poor Eelief, its 
functions were limited to the appointment of Overseers 
and rate-collectors ; but there was considerable friction 
between it and the Board of Guardians. This friction 
reached its culminating point in 1812, when it was pro- 
posed that a petition should be presented to Parliament to 
revert to the old system, " the new Poor Law not having 
been found to \vork beneficially in this parish ". It was 
also resolved to appoint a Committee to enquire into the 
increase or decrease in expenditure under the new system ; 
but apparently the Vestry was told to mind its own busi- 

The Importance and Vahie of Local Records. 163 

ness, for at a stormy meeting three months later we have 
the cryptic entry : — 

" Proposed that R. J., the clerk to the Guardians, who 
was saying much about the matters of the Guardians and the 
Parish, was asked to produce some accounts of the Board to 
explain what he was talhing about, but he refused ", 

and immediately after this there is the following :- 

" The petition to Parliament was produced and begun to 
be signed ". 

Nothing more is heard of the petition ; but in 1844 the 
Yestry appointed another Committee to " investigate the 
accounts of the present & late Overseers from the com- 
mencement of the new Poor Law ". 

This was the beginning of another dispute with the 
Guardians, who wished to appoint an Assistant Overseer 
and Collector of its own at £30 per annum, but the Vestry 
insisted on its own nominee being appointed on £20. This 
nominee was found in 1848 to have embezzled £237 6s. 3d. 
and to have borrowed another £45 froin two farmers on 
the security of future collections. This was the end of the 
squabble, for the Vestry threw up the sponge and implored 
the Guardians to appoint anyone they thought fit. They 
did so, and there is no further mention of a Collector of 
Poor Rates being appointed by the Vestry until 1857. So 
ended in a stormy quarrel and a capitulation the long 
administration of the Poor Law by a clique operating the 

III. Chürch Affairs. 

The Vestry, however, dealt not only with the Poor 
Law, but with other matters as well. Chief amongst 
these were Church affairs, and, as elsewhere, it had the 
power of levying a Church rate. 

The amount of this rate is not given with complete 
regularity, but it appears frequently in the Register, 3Jd. 

164 Tiie ímportance and Value of Local Records. 

in the £ in 1796, 2d. in 1797, 3d. in 1799, 2id. in 1800, 
6d. in 1802-3, ls. in 1804, 6d. in 1805, 3d. in 1806-7-8, 
ls. 6d. in 1809, 4d. in 1810, 6d. in 1811, 8d. in 1812, 3d. 
in 1813-4-6, 4d. in 1817-8, 6d. in 1819, ls. in 1820, 6d. 
in 1823, 8d. in 1825, ls. in 1826-7-9, 6d. in 1830-1, 8d. 
in 1833-4, ls. in 1835, 8d. in 1838, 4d. in 1840, ljd. in 
1811-2, lid. in 1843, ld. in 1845-6, 2d. in 1847, and ld. 
from 1848 to 1858, when the immemorial right of the 
A 7 estry to levy such a rate was taken away. 

The ordinary rate was applied to ' defray expenses 
attendant upon divine service " , to " maintain the fabric 
of the Church " , to " preserve the graveyard ' ' , and many 
other purposes. 

As Nonconformity spread, the control of the Vestry 
passed practically into its hands, and there are many 
cases where the Vestry was packed with Nonconformists 
with the deliberate object of humiliating the Rector and 
loyal Church people. These cases I pass over, for some 
of the protagonists are still alive, advanced in years, and 
the mantle of others has fallen on their descendants. 

Occasionally we find extra Church rates levied for 
special purposes. In 1809, an extra rate of ls. was levied 
towards procuring a new bell ; in 1813 and again in 1814 
ls. ' towards building the intended wall about Marian 
Bach f or a burial ground ' ' , and 2d . in 1844 ' ' to buy a 
new hearse upon springs with four wheels & shafts & 
pole ". 

The burial ground and the hearse play a part in the 
economy of the Vestry. It may seem trivial to touch on 
such matters ; but it is the ' ' parish pump ' ' which con- 
cerns most parishes, and the life of the common run of 
men must be studied, if we would understand a period, by 
looldng at what they were interested in. Moreover, in 
these days the question of burial grounds has become a 

The Importance and Value of Local Records. 165 

matter of national interest ; so too has municipal trading, 

and the parish hearse was a municipal enterprise. 

Further, the Dolgelley bnrial ground has had an enorm- 

ous indirect effect upon the growth of the town. It 

occupies just that portion of ground along which, had the 

graveyard not been placed there, the town itself would 

naturally have spread, and have avoided the terrible con- 

gestion of the poorer quarters to-day. It is a standing 

local monument of the inability of " popular government ' 

to look into the future. 

The first mention of the new graveyard is in October, 
1806, when 

" at a A r estry held . . . for taking into eonsideration the 
State of the Churehyard, It is unanimously agreed that a 
new burial ground should be obtained, and that the free- 
holders of Dyffrydan be requested to give Marian Bach for 
that purpose ". 

Nothing further happened for five years, during which 
period the burial ground was donated to the Church, and 
then in December, 1811, estimates were called for for the 
building of a wall round the plot by publication in Church. 
No estimates being received the projeet slept for two 
years ; and then in October, 1813, a Church rate of ls. in 
the £ was levied before the work was contracted for, 
followed by another levy of the same amount in August, 
1814; " £35 or thereabouts, being the remainder of the 
expence of walling, etc, the new Churchyard ' being 
borrowed on interest in September " until a Church rate 
be made for that purpose ". No further Church rate was 
levied, but a poor rate of 3s. 6d. was, partly to pay for 
the balance of cost. 

The first hearse, which had a pair of wheels only, was 
ordered in 1803, and a contract given to a stone mason to 
build a " house " for it, with a vestry room attached, at 
4s. per running yard, " he to find stones, gravel & lime, 

1 66 The Importance anci Value of Local Records. 

& to be at the expence of carrying same ". In 1806, it 
was agreed that 6d. a mile should be paid for the use of 
the hearse, and 2s. 6d. per day to " the Person who attends 
it out of the sum produced ". 

This was considerably enhanced next year, when a 
daily charge of 13s. was fixed for hire. The hearse was 
springless, for in 1836, i.e., 30 years after, it was decided 
to furnish springs for the vehicle, and in this state it 
served the parish for another eight years, when a four- 
wheeled spring hearse was bought out of a Church rate of 
2d. in the £ for " the use of the parishioners of Dolgellau 
to convey bodies to & from the parishes of Dolgellau, 
Llanfachreth, & Llanelltyd " ; and lOs. was fixed as its 
hire if ' to convey bodies into any other parish ' ' , plus 
ls. for cleaning. 

It continued in use until 1878 and possibly later. 

Part of the Church rate was devoted to repairs and 
replenishings. So in 1803 we find iB10 being paid for a 
' new pulpit with a sounding board above " ; the south 
side of the Church repaired in 1 820 ; new leads (bought 
in Chester) placed on the roof ; the Church clock repaired 
in 1824, and eight new casements let in in 1825. 

In that year the Archdeacon on his visitation seems to 
have made some pointed remarks about the delapidated 
state of the fabric, for the Vestry " took into consideration 
the said remarks as to the repairs to the Church ", and 
so it was ordered that ' ' the timber work of the steeple 
be thoroughly repaired where it is found deficient, & the 
wall be cemented where necessary, & the other parts 
pointed, also the West entrance door of the Churchyard 
be repaired & painted ". In 1828 the building of a new 
vestry in the north-west angle of the Church (i.e., where 
the present vestry stands) was ordered ; in 1832 chande- 
liers were purchased ; and in 1837 somewhat extensive 

Tke Importance and Value of Local Records. 167 

repairs were effected in the chancel and to the churchyard 
wall, over which the Churchwardens got somewhat in- 
volved in their accounts, necessitating 'a collection in 
proportion to a rate of ls. in the £ . . . for the purpose 
of defraying the expences incurred in the repairs of the 
Chureh, etc, amounting to £117 ". 

It is noteworthy that thereafter there is no mention 
of expenditure on repairs, and the very extensive altera- 
tions made in the sixties are unnoticed in the Register. 

There was a time when the Dolgelley Church Choir 
had a great reputation in North Wales ; and it is, there- 
fore, of interest to find that so early as 1827 £2 2s. per 
annum were allowed to J.R. " out of the Church rate for 
conducting the psalm-singing in Church & giving instruc- 
tions in same ' ' , and this continued to be paid for at least 
15 years, for in 1842, when Nonconformity was beginning 
to capture the Vestry, there is an estimate (the bottom of 
which is torn off) of expenses for the current year attached 
to the Register, and the charge of £2 2s. is noted in the 
estimate as " objected to ". 

The other items in the estimate deserve quotation, for 
they show the cost of Church services at the time. The 
' sacramental wine ", based on an average, was estimated 
to cost £8, but was cut down to £5 ; " bread " appears as 
costing 9s. 6d. ; repairs to Church windows at £2 ; sweep- 
ing the Church and Seats at £2 lOs. (cut down to £2 2s.) ; 
winding the clock at £2 2s. ; firing at £1 lOs. ; candles for 
lighting at £10 (cut down to £6) ; washing the surplices, 
etc, at £1 15s. ; and new bell ropes at £8 (cut down to £4 
10s.). The " Liberation Society " was at active work. 

The entry regarding ' sacramental wine & bread ' 
is of very great importance. One of the common charges 
brought against the Church is that the celebration of the 
Holy Eucharist was neglected. That is true enough so 

1 68 Tke Importance and Valne of Local Records. 

far as many churches in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries are concerned ; but the estimates quoted show 
that in the first half of the nineteenth century celebration 
was frequent and well-attended, and that the reduction 
of average charges by 37 \ per cent. for this duty in 1842 
marks the beginning of the Liberationist " anti-Com- 
munion " campaign. 

There is another entry in the Eegisters also which 
meets another charge very adequately, namely, that one 
of the reasons for the growth of Methodism was that the g 
were few services in Church, and those not in Welsli. 
This again is partly true, but it has no application to Dcl- 
gelley. The entry is dated 1801, ten years before the 
Methodist secession. Up till then the Church had been 
served by the Eector and curate. The former lived at 
Garthmaelan, one and a-half miles or so away ; and in 
1801 when the Eector dispensed with the services of a 
curate, he found the existing services too heavy to carry 
on alone. Accordingly a petition was sent to the Bishop 
of Bangor, and a copy of his orders on the petition is in- 
serted in the Eegister. It runs thus : — 

" Whereas the Revd Francis Parry, clerk, our Rural 
Dean in and for the deaneries of Ardudwy, Estimaner and 
Pen-y-bont in the county of Merioneth and our jurisdiction 
hath transmitted to us a Representation or Petition signed 
by the Churchwardens and principal inhabitants of the parish 
of Dolgelle in the said county of Merioneth to the following 
tenor and effect, that is to say : — 

To the Revd Francis Parry, clerk, our Rural Dean of 
the Deanery of Ardudwy and Estimaner in the county of 
Merioneth, We, the Churchwardens and principal inhabitants 
of the Town and neighbourhood of Dolgelle take the liberty 
of representing to you that as Mr. Hughes, the Rector of 
this parish, has been pleased to take upon himself the entire 
Church Duty thereof, and having taken into consideration 
the heavy duty of the Parish, which is very populous and 
extensive, and his living at the distance of near two miles 
from the Church (there being no glebe house belonging to it) 
and consequently how very inconvenient it must be for Mr. 

Thc Importance and Value of Local Records. 169 

Huglies to attend the eight o'elock service on Sunday morn- 
ing, and more particularly as that service is lmt thinly 
attended, We humbly conceire that such service may be dis- 
pensed with, as there are two other services in the same 
language every Sunday at eleven and three o'clock, and a 
Service on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday every week, There- 
fore, we beg you will be pleased to represent this matter to 
the Bishop, and we have no doubt but his Lordship wil] be 
pleased, under the before-mentioned circumstances, to dis- 
pense with such early service in future ; 

" And Whereas our said Rural Dean hath recommended 
to us to comply herewith, We, therefore, William, by Divine 
permission, Lord Bishop of Bangor, having duly considered the 
premises and being willing to grant this request, Do hereby 
give our consent, that the customary service at eight o'clock 
in the morning of Sunday in the Parish Church of Dolgelle 
aforesaid be from henceforth disp^nsed with and that the 
Rector of the said Parish Church and his Successors, Rectors 
for the time being, do cease and for the future omit to per- 
form the same ". 


What may be termed the municipal activities of the 
Vestry, though they were within its scope, play but a 
small part until the second half of the period. 

The fìrst municipal action belongs to 1805, when on 
the lOth September, it was ordered ' ' that the cleaning 
of the streets in the said town of Dolgelley be set on Tues- 
day next from that time to the 12th May next , & also that 
the Surveyors remove all other Nuisances ", an order 
which was followed a fortnight later with another, " that 
the cleaning of the Street & other parts of the town of 
Dolgelley be set to J.M. for the sum of 26s. from this 
time to 12th May next to be cleaned weekly, & for every 
neglect thereof he shall pay 20s.". 

No other municipal action occurs until December, 
1832, when the question of " watch & ward " came under 
discussion, and a motion ' for having the Town better 
protected was agreed upon, and any Voluntarv Subscriber 


i /O The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

from within 5 miles of this Town should be entitled to 
the assistance of the Police so to be formed in case of 
necessity ". A committee of five was nominated to con- 
duct the watching of the town and four watchmen 

In the following February, however, the town mus- 
tered in force at the Vestry, and it was decided by 47 votes 
to 36 that no town watchmen should be appointed. So 
matters remained until 1842, when, in accordance with 
recent legislation, a Vestry was summoned to prepare a 
list of '20 men qualified and liable to serve as Constables 
for the parish, on a precept issued by the Magistrates. 

The list was prepared, and it was also decided that a 
paid constable should be appointed at a salary of £40 a 
year, the parish to provide clothes and pay all disburse- 
ments. No appointment was apparently made, for in the 
following year the town again mnstered in force, and it 
was ' carried by vote that there be no police for the 
ensuing year at the expence of the poor rates ". Four 
months later, under pressure from the Magistrates, this 
decision was once more reversed, and it was resolved 
unanimously to appoint a paid Constable under Act 5.6. 
Vict. c. 109, on a salary of £5 per annum. Thereafter, 
we find 20 constables nominated annually until 1852, 
when the number was reduced to 15 nominated constables, 
and two paid ones on £5 per annum each ; and this con- 
tinued to be the rule until the whole police system was 
reorganized on county lines. 

Another matter which fell within the scope of the 
Vestry was that of lighting. Apparently the town was 
unlighted until 1855, when a Vestry was summoned to 
consider the Lighting and Watching Act (3.4. Wm. IV. 
c.90), and it was decided to adopt the Act. Three Inspec- 
tors were appointed to carry out the pnrposes of the Act, 

The Importancc and Value of Loca/ Records. 171 

and it was resolved ' that the total amount of money 
which the said Inspectors shall have power to call for, in 
the succeeding year, in order to carry out the purposes 
aforesaid shall be the sum of -£'80 ". Such Tnspectors ap- 
pear to have been appointed regularly until 1863, but the 
cost of lighting was reduced in 1857 to £64 per annum, 
raised in 1858 to £67 and reduced in 1859 to £60, at which 
fìgure it remained constant under contract with the new 
Gas Company from 1861. 

Tn regard to roads we find but little mention. In 1805 
the Vestry ordered that " the sum of 6d. in the .£, accord- 
ing to the land tax assessment, & in lieu of Statute labour, 
be immediately raised for repairing the roads ". There is 
no other mention of the subject for 45 years ; though, as 
elsewhere, there are incidental references to Turnpike 
Trusts, one of which operated in Dolgelley parish. 

Tn 1839, we find the Vestry dealing with proposals to 
divert certain pathways, and it appears there was a Sur- 
veyor at that tiiue, but it is not until 1850 that there is 
any record of " Surveyors of Highways ' (nine in 
number) being appointed. 

These are the only municipal activities noted. 

V. The School. 

The Dolgelley Grammar School was founded in the 
seventeenth century by Dr. John Ellis, Rector of the 
Parish ; and he endowed the School with a farm called 
Penrhyn in Llanaber. Subsequent endowments were 
those of a farm called Cilgwynbach (Denbigh) by Mr. 
Elis Lewis, £300 in Consols by Rev. Mr. Tamburlane, 
and a donation of £80 invested in the Dolgelley Turnpike 

The title deeds of the properties still repose in the 
Church safe, though the School is no longer " under the 

n 2 

172 The Imỳortance and Valne of Local Records. 

control of the Rector and twelve good men of the neigh- 
bourhood ". 

In 1857 the income from the endowments was £37 10s., 
which according to the Vestry Register was paid to the. 
Master, the Rev. Dr. Price. This income had been avail- 
able for many years, but by the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century the School had fallen on evil days. There 
is no intention of tracing here the history of this old 
foundation, but merely to note the part played by the 
Vestry, in so far as the Register indicates that part, in 
restoring the School to usefulness. 

The first mention of the School in the Register is in 
May, 1813, when it is noted that at a Vestry held at the 
Town Hall ' ' f or the purpose of taking into consideration 
several matters relating to the Free School, the number 
of persons attending being very few, It is resolved that 
the Vestry be adjourned to Tuesday next ". 

The adjournment lasted for 18 years, for that length of 
time expired before anything more was done. Then Mr. 
Richard Richards of Caerynwch began to interest himself 
in the decayed institution ; and, through his instrument- 
ality, in December, 1831, a memorial was drawn up and 
presented in the following terms : — 

" Ordered that the following memorial be presented to 
the Rector of the Parish as trustee for the time being of the 
Free School. 

" We the undersigned, being parishioners of the Parish 
of Dolgelley, beg to submit to you, the Rector of the Parish 
aforesaid, the trustee for the time being of the Free School 
in the Town of Dolgelley, that the said school is not con- 
ducted according to the intention or in fulfìlnt (sic) of 
the Wills relating to the same, and that this is a loss and 

" We beg therefore respectfully to request that to cure 
the same grievance, you will be pleased to displace and change 
the present Master and to appoint another in his stead to 
carry out the trusts of the different Wills relating to the said 
School with execution, and in support of this our request, 

The Importance anci Value of Local Records. \J 


we submit to your consideration the following circunistances 
which may be proved. 

" For sevl years tlie present Master has absented liimself 
from the School for considerable times beyond the Holidays. 
From the month cf June last the schoolmaster has altogether 
absented himself from the School. 

" Under the trusts of Wills devisg or bequeathg emolu- 
ments to this Scliool (which are respectable in amount) the 
Bachelor (sic) must be a Bachelor of Arts at the least, but the 
present Master has appointed a Deputy who has not attained 
that degree and who consequent]y cannot conduct the educa- 
tion of children placed in the school according to the intention 
of the Wills before mentioned. 

" The original Schoolroom is now let out to labourers or 
Workmen for dwellings. 

" Three or four boys only of respectable parentage have 
been placed in the School for about 6 years, which shews the 
consequence of these and other neglects. 

" The School house is in a delapidated state, and the 
timber of one of the farms devised in trust for the School 
lias been cut by the present Master and the woodland has 
since been un-inclosed and neglected." 

This was followed up by another in similar terms in 
September, 1832 :— 

" At a Vestry held— the llth day of September 1832 for 
the purpose to take into consideration the management of 
tlie Free School. 

" Ordered that the following Resolutions were agreed to : 
That the Fi - ee School of Dolgelley is not conducted according 
to the intention or in fulfilment of the wills relating to the 
same, and that Timber growing upon one of the Farms devised 
by will for the support of the School has been cut by the 
presant Master, tfc the proceeds of the same, which we believe 
to be considerable, not accounted for, nor the Woodland in- 
closed, and that the above circumstances are great grievances 
to the inhabitants of this Parish. 

" The following petition to the Dean and Chapter of 
Bangor was moved by Mi . Hallowes, seconded by Edward 
Owen, Esq., of Garthynharad and carried : — 

" We, the undersigned parishioners of Dolgelley, beg 
most respectfully to request that to ciire the same grievance 
you will be pleased to displace and change the present Master, 
& appoint another in bis stead, and to carry the trusts of 
the different Wills relating to the said School into execution, 
and that you will be pleased to take such measures as you 

174 The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

deem proper to make the present Master aceount for the 
proceeds of the Timber above mentioned. In support of this 
our request we submit to your consideration the following 
circumstances, wbich can be proved. 

" For several years the present Master absented himself 
from the School for considerable time beyond the holidays, 
in particular from June 1831 to Decr of the same year he 
was absent altogetber. 

" Under the trust of Wills devising or bequeathing emolu- 
ments to the Schcol, which are respectable in amount, the 
Master must be a Bachelor of Arts at the least, but the pre- 
sent Master, when absent, appointed a Deputy who has not 
attained that degree and wbo moreover is perfectly incom- 
petent to instruct Children in the rudiments of the English 
language, consequently the education of the Children placed 
in the School is not conducted according to the intention of 
the M'ills before mentioned. 

" The original School Room is now let to labourers or 
worhmen for Dwellings, only three or four boys of respectable 
parentage have been placed in the School for about six years, 
which shews the consequence of these and other inflicts (sic). 

' ' The School house ìs in a dilapidated state and the 
Timber on one of the Farms as before mentioned as divised in 
trust for the School has been cut by the present Master, & 
the Woodland has bince been left unenclosed and neglected." 

The eventual result of this action was the rehabilita- 
tion oí' the School, which entered upon a new career of 
usefulness to the locality. The course of action is detailed 
in the Charity Commissioners' Reports. There is a collec- 
tion of pathetic letters in the church safe from the Master, 
who cleared the deck for action by dying at an opportune 

Founded and endowed by Rectors of the Parish and 
restored to effìciency by a few zealous Churchmen, the 
School continued under the management of the Church, 
which had created it, until it was removed from that con- 
trol by the Intermediate Education Act, and its name 
abolished until, a short while ago, the old nanie was 
restored fco ofncial use, fchanks fco the historical bent of the 
present Headmaster. 

The Importance and Vahie of Local Records. 175 

VI. Other Registers. 

ln addition to its valuable Vestry Book, the Parish 
Church of Dolgelley possesses a complete series of regis- 
ters of baptisms, burials, and marriages from 1640 to the 
present day. 

Up to 1840 or so, they are of considerable value for 
statistical purposes. Until 1840 practically everyone was 
baptized, married, and buried by the Church ; and hence 
the Church registers are almost as valuable for those pur- 
poses as the present-day Registrar's records. After 1840 
their value decreases, more and more as the years go by, 
for the habit then grew up of such rites being conducted 
by various ministers of Nonconformist bodies. 

The first Register covers the period from 1G40 to 1G88. 
It was maintained in Latin until 1652, when English 
came into use till 1661, i.e., throughout the Common- 
wealth period. On the Restoration Latin was again used 
and continued to be used far into the eighteenth century. 

The vital statistics disclosed by the Registers for the 
period can be tabulated thus : — 













Total. age. 



Total. Aver 

1640-1650 " 


í 382 


88 8. 


l 2430 


164 6.75 

1 30 
1 U1 



30 2.5 
46 4.2 





102 6.8 

The ' ' birth ' ' figures show no violent fluctuations from 
year to year, save that in 1651 only nine baptisms are re- 
corded ; but for this there is a good reason, namely the 
ravaging of the land by the Parliamentarians at that time. 
In 26 out' of the 49 years covered, the annual total was in 
the forties or fifties. The Commonwealth period shows 
an average of 32.2. 

The percentage of illegitimacy is slightly lower than 

176 Thc Importance anci Value of Local Records. 

the present county rate of 7.5 ; it was fairly constant 
throughout the period, with a slight diminution under the 

The niortality figures are peculiar. It is quite clear 
that froni 1651 to 1G73 the record of burials was not pro- 
perly maintained, in fact many years are blank. Why 
this should have been so is a matter of conjecture only ; 
but a study of contemporary local documents shows that 
economically the Commonwealth period was one of great 
uneasiness and insecurity of title, and this feeling of in- 
security may account for the failure to record deaths. The 
date when regularity again appears in the registers coin- 
sides with the passing of the Test Act ; and whatever the 
merits of some provisions of that measure might be, it 
indubitably did restore discipline in the services of the 
Church, after a long period of hopeless confusion ; 1673 
also saw the induction of one of the finest Eectors Dol- 
gelley has ever had, the Rev. Maurice Jones, who was 
the donor to the Church of its magnificent chalice, one of 
the finest Post-reformation chalices in Wales. 

Prior to 1673 the highest recorded mortality was in 
1649, a year of frequent military operations in the neigh- 
bourhood, when the deaths totalled 74. In 1673, there is 
a high total of 141, and in 1674 of 118, after which there 
is a drop of 50 per cent. or more. It is suggested that 
these high figures indicate the presence of plague in the 

The record of marriages is also unsatisfactory ; and it 
is again obvious that, in the same period, causes operated 
to prevent a full record being made. 

Three small facts are worthy of notice. To the end of 
the period the old Welsh habit of a wife retaining her 
maiden name after marriage is common ; the use of sur- 
naines has not become completely established ; and from 

The Importance and Value of Local Records. 177 

1680 it became customary, on the baptism of an illegiti- 
mate child, to record its sponsors, who imdertook in 
Church to relieve the parish of liability to be burdened 
with its maintenance. This continued until nearly the end 
of the eighteenth century. The common phrase appended 
to the baptism record is as follows : — 

" A et B restraw (sic) fidejussorunt ne infans predictus 
huic parochiae sit oneri." 

From 1689 to 1840, the records are complete and full ; 
and, subject to the possibility of small, but negligible, 
errors in computation, the vital statistics are as follows : — 

















Total. Aver. 








533 14.8 








543 18.1 








526 17.5 

1785-1804 l 
1805-1810 i 







581 22.4 










583 19.4 

There is no definite material whereon to form an 
accurate estimate of the size of the population ; but my 
own estimate, for what it is worth, is that the parish con- 
tained about 1700 a.d. a total of some 2,000 people, which 
rose to approximately 3,250 by the end of the eighteenth 
century. However that may be, the statistics in the regis- 
ters disclose a fairly steady rise in population up to 1810 ; 
and the period covers the time during which the local in- 
dustries, connected with wool, were in their most flourish- 
ing condition. Thereafter, there was a steady decline in 
the town's prosperity, which is reflected in the decreased 
average birth-rate. Years of heavy mortality were 1690 
(138), 1729 (117), 1763 (153), 1768 (100), 1777 (131), 1784 
(103), and 1794 (84), in which latter years the registers 
record a great number of deaths from small-pox. No 

i/8 The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

reason is given for the high mortality in the other years ; 
but it was probably due to small-pox or cholera. 

The figures in regard to illegitimacy are interesting. 
One school of thought has maintained persistently, with- 
out the production of much evidence, that the eighteenth 
century in Wales was a period of serious moral depravity, 
against which the Nonconformist movement was a pro- 
test ; another school of thought suggests that a period of 
perturbation in the religious life of a people, especially 
when it is emotional, is frequently associated with an 
increase in sexual laxity. 

The statistics quoted are quite inconsistent with the 
first contention ; and there is no doubt that locally there 
was a sharp and continued rise in illegitimacy from 1805 
to L840. It is regrettable that since 1840 the figures have 
shown a still more marked upward tendency. 

My own view has always been that a rise in the figures 
of illegitimacy is concomitant with the rise of insurgent 
new ideas in the world of intelligence, coming into con- 
flict with old established ones. As soon as such new ideas 
become the catch-phrases of the market-place, there is 
frequently a revolution in religious outlook (which may 
be super-religious, if I may use such a term, or anti- 
religious), and pari passu with the resulting break away 
from old sanctions and disciplines, there is a distinct de- 
cadence in the standard of sexual morality. It is not that 
sexual inmiorality is a necessary outcome of emotional 
religion, or of a repudiation of religion ; but the two are 
separate facets of the same general insurgent movement 
operating on a populace which thinks it can think, but 
cannot discipline itself. The local facts seem to cor- 
roborate that view. 

One interesting fact of a non-statistical nature emerges 
fiom the registers of 1760-8. During that period, a few 

Thc Importance anci Va!ue of Local Records. 179 

( L )uakers, who had hitherto formed a strong body locally, 
were admitted into the Church. They were as a rule 
young people. The Quaker community diminished greatly 
as time went on, partly by emigration, and partly, appar- 
ently, by reception into the Church. The Church, in í'act, 
had a greater appeal to Quakers than Presbyterianism, 
which was far more intolerant of the Society of Friends 
than the Established Church ever was. By 1840 the 
community had practically ceased to exist in the inimedi- 
ate neighbourhood. 

Tn addition to the registers referred to already, there 
is a rare type of register, called the " Eegister booke of 
the parish of Dolgelley in the County of Merioneth, pro- 
vided by vertue of the Act of Parliament for burying in 
woollen ". 

It opens in 1678 ; and the following is the nornial 
entry : — 

"J. W. was buried the 12th day of January. 1 received 
an affidavit, the 18th day of January, 1678/9, made by E. E., 
& subscribed by W. P. A: E. E. witnesses, & taken before 
& subscribed by R. A. Esq, one of the Justices of the Peace 
of this County of Merioneth, that the above registered J. W. 
was buried in woollen onely, according to an Act of Parlia- 
ment entitled, An Act for burying in woollen." 

This legislative enactment was passed with a view to 
encourage the woollen trade ; but the observance of its 
provisions was neglected, as time went on, and eventually 
the Act was repealed, I think, in the reign of George II. 
At any rate, in Dolgelley, it was observed up to 1693. In 
J694 it was very largely ignored ; in 1695 its provisions 
were once more enforced, but, thereafter, it ceased entirely 
to be regarded. 

A very interesting memo was inserted in the registers 
of 1776. The parish of 4}olgelley, having been a Crown 
living, escaped the appropriation to lay hands on the great 

180 The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

rectorial tithes, an appropriation which was one of the 
characteristics of the Reformation. Nearly every parish, 
if not every one, in Merioneth, attached to the Bangor 
Diocese, save Dolgelley, suffered by having its tithes 
diverted into others hands than the parochial church in 
the sixteenth century. 

In 1776, the Bishop of the Diocese paid a visitation to 

Dolgelley ; and one of the results was the insertion of a 

' terrier " of the Dolgelley tithes in the Parish Register. 

It is of soine value as showing how tithes were assessed 

in the locality in the eighteenth century. 

The " terrier " runs thus : — 

" A true Note and Terrier uf the Parish and Parisli 
Church of Dolgelley, in the County of Merioneth and Diocese 
of Bangor, made this 22nd day of July, 1776, by the appoint- 
ment of the Right Reverend Father in God, John, Lord Bishop 
of Bangor, and exhibited at his Primary Visitation held at 
Dolgelley in the said County and Diocese aforesaid, upon the 
29th day of July, 1776. 

" Imprimis, the Township of Brithdir Ucha pays tithe in 
kind of ererything, excepting Hay. In consideration for which 
there is four pence from every tenement paid yearly to the 
Rector, penny and half penny for every Milch cow, one penny 
from every Mare and Fole. The township of Brithdir Issa 
pays the same. 

" The township of Garthcynfawr lihewise the same, ex- 
cepting Gwanas, which claims an exemption from tithe by 
paying fortj* shillings a year, and the moduses hereafter men- 
tioned, a meadow called Dolship pays yearly four shillings ; 
Cae maesdylaran pays two shillings and sixpence ; Caepen- 
bontyraran pays four shillings. Doluwcheogryd meadow pays 
three pounds for tithe corn only. Dolgelley meadow, called 
Maesmawr, pays twenty shillings a year, from every garden 
two pence. Item the tithe of Lambs in their proper kind. 

" There is no Modus in the Township of Dyffrydan, but 
pays tithe in kind of everytliing. Neither does the Township 
(if Cefnrowen claim any Modus, but pays tithe in kind as 
before mentioned. 

" So Hkewise does the Township of Dolgledar, excepting 
the Moduses called Werndaufach, Werglodd gron, and Wer- 
glodd gudd, belonging to Glynmalden, which pay yearly eleven 

The Importance and Vahic of Local Records. 18 i 

shillings, and Pontbrencarreg, which belongs to Hengwrt, 
pays tbree shillings." 

[The meadow Maesmawr, formerly oalled Dolgelley, is the 
parent of the town's name.] 

A few miscellaneous papers in the Church records 
thiow light on local affairs. 

The parish of Dolgelley, originally of far greater area 
than it is to-day. has had three other parochial charges 
carved out of it, namely, Bryncoedifor in August, 1853, 
Brithdir and Islawdref in Octoher, 1896, and Arthog (a 
portion) in July, 1914. 

The foundation of the present Grammar School by Dr. 
Ellis dates back to the seventeenth century ; but neither 
his will, nor any other documents relative to his endow- 
ment are traceable in the Church records. In 1727, Mr. 
Elis Lewis, then Rector of Ruthin, endowed the School 
with a tenement called Cilgwyn in Denbighshire, and the 
title deeds of that property, dating back to the reign of 
Henry VIII, are in Church custody. 

The School was, of course, originally a Church school, 
founded and endowed by clergymen of the Church ; but 
it came later under the Intermediate Education scheme. 
These deeds continue in Church custody for a peculiar 
reason . 

The testator endowed the School with certain sums, 
including £50 from the Cilgwyn estate, " towards build- 
ing a Free School ". The site of what is still called the 
" Old Grammar School " was bought in 1728 for £5 5s. 
out of the £50, and the rest of the legacy was apparently 
applied to building the school-house. It was maintained 
and repaired by the Church, and finally restored in or 
about 1857 ; but with the passing of the Intermediate 
Education Act, the building and site were taken over by 
the Board of Education without compensation to the 
Church. The Church was, however, accorded the privilege 

182 The Importance and Value of Local Records. 

of buying back its own property in 1912 for the sum of 
A'14'2, the equivalent of the highest oíf'er made for it at 
public auction. Hence the retention of the old title deeds. 

Other property of the Church comprises the site of the 
National School, given by Sir R. W. Vaughan in 1844; 
the site of the Rectory, bought in 1870 for £319 ; the 
Rectory house, built by subscriptions of members of the 
Church since 1870 ; Henfelin, a kind of class-room, bought 
in 1874 for £10, with the intention of starting a " ragged 
school " there, and bought on trust ' for the creation of 
a school thereon, or on some part thereof, for the educa- 
tion of children, & for such other use or purpose in con- 
nection with the Parish Church of Dolgelley, as shall be 
for the benefit of the children or other inhabitants of the 
said Town & parish " ; and the site of the graveyard, con- 
veyed to the Church in 1793 by Griffith ap Hywel 
Vaughan of Hengwrt for 10s., and consecrated in 1814. 

Save the inconsiderable Faenol Charity, which is dis- 
tributed at Christmas to the poor of Dolgelley, these 
properties, being ' modern endowments", are all that 
have survived the holocanst of the Disestablishment and 
Disendowment Act. ' Sic transeunt bona Ecclesiae ". 

VII. Conclüsion. 

There are many small matters, in addition to those 
referred to above, touched on in the Vestry Registers, 
and it would be possible to afford further information on 
several points by resort to other material. 

The object, however, of this resumé is to draw aften- 
tion to the fact that in our parish vestry registers in Wales 
there is an important source of information regarding the 
life of the land a century or so ago, a time when the 
national life was, for good or for evil, passing through a 
crncible. Many ideas of the most inaccurate kind have 

The Importance and Vahtc of Local Rccords. 183 

been and are still prevalent as to the state of the land in 
those days, and these ideas can only be corrected by refer- 
ence to matter of' fact contemporary documents. 

The material is worth collecting, and anybody with 
a modicum of intellig'ence can collect it. Without seeking 
to reproduce every detail, it is easy to extract and reduce 
to order everything that is germane to local history and 
conditions contained in these registers. 

Some churches have already lost their Vestry Regis- 
ters, and it is possible that, in course of time, many more 
will go the way of our mediaeval records. It is worth sug- 
gesting to our incumbents, curates, local schoolmasters, 
or others interësted in the past, that they might go throngh 
their parish registers on lines similar to those adopted in 
this article, and thereby add to our present sources of 
knowledge a by no means unimportant additional item. 

In addition to the historical interest, there is the 
pschyological one of' community action, of' local govern- 
ment, wherein incompetence, corruption, lust for power, 
and jealousy perpetually play their part. They are oft- 
times the mainspring of' human action. ' Tempora 
mutantur : sed mores? " 

184 The Imfiortance anci Value of Local Records. 



. of Paupers Approximate 


r Rate 




Total of New 








Annual Burden 

£ s. 




£ s. 




298 2 






368 12 






325 15 



862 10 


speeial county 

rate 1 




239 2 







199 7 






879 13 






871 8 



6 (5 levies) 


(plus special 

rate 2 



251 7 






210 3 







110 4 











88 15 






77 19 







94 6 





109 5 






141 13 





125 11 





236 9 






350 7 







209 18 







111 12 







338 19 






521 16 






446 13 





273 2 







189 19 













216 16 






403 7 






261 14 




1192 10 









286 15 




(plus special levy 4 



160 6 





330 9 







413 7 



1507 10 



359 11 



The Importance and Value of Local Records. 185 


». of Paupers 


Bor. Rate 




Total of New 

in the 





Annual Burden 

£ s. d. 

s. d. 

£ s. d. 



391 19 6 

16 3 

1462 10 



279 5 6 

12 9 




234 12 

12 10 




217 9 10 

12 8 




279 11 10 

12 4 




234 17 9 

12 4 



(one quarter only) 

2 3 


-Where the fi 

gures of rates 

difFer from those 

given in my 

book on 

" Dolgelley and Llanelltyd " it 

is due to the 


ion in the one 

- by " calendar " 

year, in the 

other by 

" finaneial " year, wliich began 

and ended on 

Mav 12th. 


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i88 A Scottish Surgeon in Wales 

(2jt Çècottíeÿ ^urgeon tn 1(?afee tn í0e 
éêmntuntfy £tntmy>. 


The Unẁersity of Licerpool. 

Whrn Sir Thomas Browne, the distinguished physician 
and man of letters — author of the Religio Medici — in a 
letter to his son, referred to the incorporation, in 1682, 
of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, he 
observed : " I doubt the English will not like the setting 
up a colledge of physitians in Scotland . . . If they set up 
a colledge and breed many physitians, we shall be sure to 
have a greate part of them in England ' ' . 

It is known, however, that Scottish physicians had 
practised in this country long before the foundation of the 
College at Edinburgh. Since James the First's reign 
Scotsmen had crossed the Border, and many Scottish 
names are to be found on the roll of the London College 
of Physicians. One young Scotsman came from distant 
Aberdeen to practise the healing art among the Welsh 

Alexander Reid (Read, Rhead, Rede or Rheadus), 
Scóto-Brittanus , as he describes himself, is said to have 
been born somewhere about the year 1586. There are, 
however, reasons for believing the date to be 1580, or even 
earlier, because in the preface to his Chirurgicall Lectures 
of tumors and ulcers (1634) Reid says that he had prac- 
tised " Physick and Chirurgery now 42 years ". 

He belonged to a singularly gifted family. His father, 
James Reid, was minister of Banchory Ternan, near 

in the Seventeenth Century. 189 

Aberdeen. Alexander was the third son. The second, 
Thomas, afterwards became Latin Secretary to James the 
First. Like his brother AIexander, Thomas Eeid was a 
generous patron of the city of Aberdeen, bequeathing his 
collection of books, together with the sum of six thousand 
marks, to the town and new College. íle died in 16-24. 
By his Will, dated 19th May of the same year, Thomas 
also left the sum of four thousand marks to his brother 
Alexander, together with his " best Cloack, having six 
Laces, lined with Plush ". 1 

Alexander Reid's life may be said to fall into three 
main periods : his early life in Scotland ; his career as 
a country physician in Chester and North Wales ; and, 
finally, his professional and literary career in Ijondon. 

Of his early life in Scotland nothing is known. That 
he afterwards cherished a deep affection for his native 
town may be seen from a letter written in 1633, in which 
he refers to his life at Aberdeen as ' ' the most cairles and 
contented part of my Lyiff ". 2 Sir D'Arcy Power, in his 
article on Reid in the Dictionary of National Biography, 
informs us that Reid received his early education from his 
father, and that he afterwards proceeded to the Marischal 
College at Aberdeen, where he graduated M.A. about the 
year 1600. The records of the College are unfortunately 
defective for that period and, although it is highly pro- 
bable that Reid became a student there, the presumption 
does not appear to be supported by documentary evidence. 

Whatever may be the actual facts concerning Reid"s 
early education, there is no doubt that he studied surgery 
at the great medical schools in France, and that he 
travelled widely throughout Italy and Bohemia. We have 
the authority of his own works for this statement. In his 

1 Anderson. Fasti Acad. Mariseall. Aberdon. I, p. 195. 

2 ibid, p. 228. 

igo A Scottish Surgeon i/i Wales 

Treatise on wounds, 1 writing on the subject of snake-bites, 
he observes : " When I travelled in Boheraia, the Earl of 
Eosenberg the younger, during the summer time did eat 
the flesh of adders for the preservation of the sight and 
the staying of old age ". 

On his return from abroad Eeid set up in practice at 
Holt, on the borders of Wales. The exact date of his 
appearance in the Principality is not known, though it 
was probably about the year 1600, or even earlier. 

The circumstances which led to his association with 
that country are somewhat obscure. It is possible that 
during his travels he may have come into contact with 
youthful representatives of one or other of the prominent 
Welsh families, making the Grand Tour through France 
and Italy. Eloquent in praise of the great physicians of 
Myddfai, these young men may conceivably have depre- 
ciated the abilities of the local Welsh practitioners, at the 
same time emphasizing the need for just such a skilled 
physician and surgeon as Eeid himself professed to be. 

Letters of the period would seem to confirm this hypo- 
thesis, and the skill of the W^elsh physician is challenged 
by more than one writer. ' I find all our Chirurions un- 
willinge to meddle with me in regard I had beene in cure 
att London ", writes one, and adds, rather severely, " I 
thinke that is but an excuse to colour their insumciency ". 2 
Sir Eoger Mostyn, in a letter written between 1606 and 
1611, comments upon the illness of Sir John's married 
daughter, Mary Bodvel, and is convinced that her phy- 
sician Sir Thomas [Williams] " knoweth no more of her 
estate than [the writer] ". " I remember well ", he con- 
tinues, ' that when ray wyeffe being sicke of the first 
chylde, he cam to her and would needes perswade us that 

1 Lecture 14. 

- National Library t»f Wales. Llewenny Paper, No. 3. 107. 

in the Seuenteenth Century. 191 

she was not with chylde . . . so that I conclude that his 

cominge fitteth him better to deserne my cosin Nell Powell 
Fcbricula [fever] than my systers infirmitye ". 1 As a 
sequel to this experience we gather from one of Eead's 
letters that he was eventualiy called in to prescribe for the 
lady. 2 

At that period it was not unusual for the gentry living 
in remote country districts to consult one or other of the 
eminent London physiciàns by correspondence. This was 
especially the case in Wales, where doubtless the skilled 
physician was harder to come by than in England. The 
patient compiled a list of his symptoms, leaving blank 
spaces for the specialist's written opinion. 

Although it would seem that the country districts of 
England and Wales alike, experienced a need for the 
qualified physician, the balance of probability is strongly 
in favour of the view that seventeenth century Wales 
suffered more than England from this insufficiency. Manv 
Welsh names, it is true, are inscribed on the rolls of the 
Royal College of Physicians of London. Dr. George 
Owen, for example, was physician to Queen Elizabeth and 
held the office of President of the College in 1553/4. 
Matthew T Gwynne, the first Professor of Physic at Gres- 
ham College, Oxford, belonged to an old Welsh family ; 
and there are others. It is, however, significant that these 
eminent men practised their profession beyond the con- 
fines of their own country. There were, of course, certain 
physicians, such as Sir Thomas Williams, William Salus- 
bury of Rûg, and the descendants of the family of Myddfai, 
who resided in their own country ; but, with the exccp- 
tion of the physicians of Myddfai, these would appear 
primarily to have been men of letters, and nearer akin 

1 National Library of Wales. Wynn Papers, No. 58U. 

2 See below, p. 196. 

i9 2 A Scottish Surgeon iu Wales 

to the tribe of herbalists and quacks who infested the 
country districts of England and Wales. 

In his preface to Owen Wood's " Alphabeticall book 
of physicall Secrets ' (1639), Reid reviles those " bold 
knaves and impudent Queanes " who " meddle with the 
practise of Physick, to the utter ruine of no small number 
of rude and improvident persons, who coinmit themselves 
to the Skill and Cure of such unworthy persons. That this 
is truth ", he adds, " the manifold complaints which come 
to the Physicians' Colledge, when the Fellowes sit, doe 
make good ". 

It is therefore highly probable that the advent of such 
a man as Eeid, fresh from the great medical schools of the 
Continent, would create something of a stir in Wales. 
W T ith his headquarters at Holt and Chester, Reid's prac- 
tice extended throughout the greater part of North Wales, 
and his clientèle comprised a number of the leading 
Denbighshire families. Doubtless the local doctors were 
jealous enough when they saw their patrons competing 
for the newcomer's services. " I had thought to have sent 
Mr. Reade to have conferred with you ", writes Sir Roger 
Mostyn in 1609, ' but he telleth me . . . he hath a 
cure upon his hand whearin his creditt is farre engaged ". 1 
While, in another letter, Mostyn writes : " I will myself 
ride to Dr. Lobell, 2 if Read be not to bc had ". 3 

The story of Reid's dispute with Sir Thomas Williams 

1 Wynn Papers, No. 523. 

2 Matthias de L'Obel, the famous Flemish botanist. In a Book 
of Memoranda of Sir John Wynn of Gwydir, whieh is amongst 
the Wynn Papers (No. 732), there is a " Recipe for ' The maldng 
of right good Metheglin ' by Doctor Lobell, a netherlander, in 
anno 1610." L'Obel died in 1616. His " Stirpium Ulustrationes," 
edited by William How, was printed in 1655. The original MS. 
copy contains some eulogistic verses by " Alexander Rhedus " 
[Reid] of which the last eight lines were never published. See 
Gunther, Early British Botanists, p. 252. 

3 Wynn Papers, No. 580. 

in the Seventeenth Century. 193 

affords an interesting example of this professional jealousy. 
It must be assumed that the " Sir Thom. W." referred to 
in Reid's letter, is the famous lexicographer Sir Thomas 
Williams, who at that time practised medicine in Den- 
bighshire. We have already seen that his professional 
skill had been questioned by Sir Boger Mostyn, who 
advised Sir John Wynn to send for the Scottish physician. 

The affair begins when Reid, at the instigation of Sir 
Roger Mostyn, wrote to Sir John Wynn in a professional 
capacity. The letter, dated lOth March, 1609/ 10, l com- 
mences with a careful diagnosis of the worthy knight's 
complaint. Then follows the prescription, an " operative 
julep ", compounded of the usual simples. This letter is 
endorsed with a brief note from Sir Roger (who appears 
to have been a powerful ally of Reid's), urging his father- 
in-law to follow the doctor's instructions. ' I had thought 
to have sent Mr. Reade to have conferred with you ", he 
writes, " but he telleth me, by beinge with you, can advise 
you no further than he doth by letter. Yett, if you please, 
the next weeke I will send him to you ". 

Thereupon, Sir John sent the prescription to Sir 
Thomas Williams, desiring ' his furtherance for the 
making of ye julep ", for Williams would seem to have 
had a fair lmowledge of local herbs. In Sir John Salus- 
bury's annotated copy of Gerard's " Herbal " there is a 
note that " Mr. Thos. Williames, Clarke and physician, 
sent it [Parnassia yalustris~\ mee Sir John Salusbury, 
knight, for another herb. It groweth in a meade of Sir 
Jolm Winn, Knight ". 2 

The jealous eye of the Welsh doctor was quiek to note 
the weak points in his rival's prescription. The Scotsman, 
ignorant of local conditions, had prescribed simples which 
were not to be found in that part of the country ! He 

1 Wynn Papers, No. 523. 2 See Gunther, p. 243. 

194 -A Scottish Surgeon in Wales 

immediately makes Sir John acquainted with this fact. 
Again, Reid does not appear to have favoured the adminis- 
tration of rhubarb as a remedy. Williams therefore urges 
its use ! The correspondence between Sir John Wynn and 
Sir Thomas W'illiams is unfortunately lost ; but we have 
the whole story from Reid himself, whose indignation at 
this uncalled for criticism finds expression in three closely 
written foolscap pages of a letter, dated 17th April, 1610, 
and addressed to Sir John Wynn of Gwydir 1 : — 

X.s. Right woorshipfull yo r lettir 1 receaued after ìny comming 

from Cheshire xiii day of this moneth aceompanied with a 
testimonie of your woonted favour. And as I was exceeding 
glade to here of your securitie, so it greeued me to under- 
stand that your woonted streyngth did not returne even 
acording to your owin wishe. Becaus I am willing to shew 
my self in any thing, but chefely in yt which concerneth your 
owin welfayre, alwayee ready (as I am bownd) to fulfil your 
woorships desyre, I made what hast I cowld to send wnto you 
the julep. Receaue it therefore, which I wishe may do yow 
as much good as I cowld desyre at Goddis handis. The simples, 
I assure yow, were exceeding good, for I had them of my owen, 
& in y e mahing I tooke that care which was fittest to be taken 
for such a one as one much revered. Take of this, becaus it 
is strong of the simples, iiii ounces about v a clock in y e morn- 
ing, warme, & sleep afterward ; & so much about iiii a clock 
in ye afternoone, cowld. According to y e benefit yow reape 
by it (which I hoape wilbe soone) your woorship may continew 
the use of it. I bowldly affirme it to be more lykely to doo 
gocd then your medical bere, the use whereof yo"" woorship 
shal fynd by taking of it to subvert yo r stomach. The lettir 
contayning the description of the state of yo r body I cowld 
not as yit fynd out ; when I fynd it I wil send it. In your 
woorships last lettir a fownd enclosed a brefe schedul of your 
owin to S r Thomas AYilliams, wherein yow desyre his further- 
ance for the malung of y e julep. His answer I redde wryten 
upon the back of it. But becaus in it I perceaued a selfe 
looue, a disdayne of others, & a censuring humor, here brefely 
I wil examin every poynt of it. Xow first of al, to cloake his 
unwilHngnes to meddle with anything prescrihed by others, as 
showld seme, he taketh occasion presumptuously to enter to 
ye examination of my recept. But fayne would I know why 

1 Wynn Papers, No. 527. 

ìn the Seventeenth Century. 195 

his charitie wil not suffer a poore body to passe by his doore 
if he wil bestow no almes? But let us here what he can say. 
The rootes of grasse are prescribed. Go too ! But there 
are divers kyndes of grasse, it is trew, more then ather 
Mathwlus, 1 , Dodonaus 2 or Lobelius 3 as yit have sett downe, 
as I can prooue when occasion shal be offered. What then ? 
There is a dowbt left what kynd of grasse rootis are to be 
taken. What doeth this trowble a master wnto ye which every 
apotheearies boy wil readely answer? Is not this familiar to al 
pragmaticks by a trope, to wit, synecdoche? Generis pro spccie 
to use ye denomination of the general for the special, as K rad. 
aperitiu., being notwithstanding farre more aperittiue rootis 
then are used by y e apothecaries. The right is grarnen 
canarium, quick grass, which the husbandman unwillingly 
seeth wheusoevir he harroweth. But becaus, S r Thomas, al 
corne by yow is not winter corne, yow might have fownd it 
wheresoevir harrowing was for oatis or barley. He sayeth, in 
lyke maner, that your tract wil not afford the other simples. 
There is agrimonie enough everywhere in the dew season, which 
I marvel he can lake ; yea, & hartis towng, & mayden hayre 
about Denbich castel (if not in jour owin rockis) ; sorel, persley 
rootis, fennil rootis, succorie & borrage rootis in your owin 
garden, liquirice & anise seedis (I make no dowbt) at hoame. 
Thus one may see his dealing. Neverthelesse, he referreth the 
making of it to me, but apoynteth the place, Chestir to wit. 
I would he showld know, first of al, that I wil use none of 
there ineffectual owld simpJes to anyone of woorth, secondly, 
that I wilbe taught by no apothecarie in England to make, 
acording to art, any composition. I admire not that which 
sundrie commend. But I am drawin on by ye fayre tytle of 
an observation. But which is it? Yo r woorship is hypatick 
& not splenetick ! How soo ? There is no proofe, wherefore 
guod ratione non fulcitur, cadem facilitote contemnitur quá 
asseritur. If it be so, why are his simples splenetical rather 
than hepatical? That wcormewood is stomachical & ceterach 
& tamarish splenetical I appel to Dioscorides 1 & al practizers. 
Bchowld what fyne harmonie there is betwene this mannis 
theorie ct practice ! I see not how, when twoe members are 

1 Matthiolus or Mattioli, an eminent physician and botanist, 
born at Sienna in 1501. He died in 1577. 

2 Dodoens or Dodonaeu.s. a learned physician and botanist, born 
at Mechlin in 1517. He died in 1585. 

3 Referred to above, p. 192. 

4 Dioscorides, of Caesarea, in Cilicia, who lived in the second or 
fìrst century B.C., author of the classical " Treatise on Materia 

196 A Scottish Surgeon in Wales 

apoynted for one use, the one being affected, the other can 
be free. As, for example, the boanis of the leggis being frac- 
tured, tbe muscules must also suffer, Now the liver and splen 
have one common end, sanguification. "NYherefore I did so 
temporat my description yt that the greater part of the simples 
revived the liuer. To discours of y e jellow jandice at large 
the bowndis of one epistel wil not perinit. From hence, he 
goeth to the defence of the ministration of Rheubarb, ascrib- 
ing y e cure of the jandice wnto it, next wnto his Lord, as if 
emongst Christiaus in this realme there [were] more then one 
Lord, although there be sundre sortis (I graunt) of woorship- 
ping. He is behowlden to y e puritans for this phrase. But I 
pray you, S r , is not Rheubarb a purgatiue? It can not be 
denyed ! Now seing three thinges are requisit to purge 
according to method : The streyngth of nature, the prepara- 
tion of the humor & the opennes of the passages, why did yow 
attempt the ministration of it before the obstructions were 
opened ? Doo not yow say yt his woorships gale did ouerflow ? 
And is not this becaus y e ductus fellis, inserted into y e 
duodenum, was stopped, the cistis being full? Can a mil 
damme ouerflow unlesse y e sluice be shut? What that, in the 
end of your observation, yow dreed a scirrhus which can not 
be imagined wt out ane obstruction, nether can reason permit 
to beleve that one potion at the very same tyme can be both 
preparatiue & purgatiue. As for rheubarb, y e purgatiue facultie 
of it, the dose, & dyers preparations I wil undertahe to teach 
yow, if yow wil not be wilfullie ignorant. Whosoevir hnoweth 
not it, & sena to colour the urine, is ather very ignorant 
becaus he hnoweth not, or negligent, becaus he observeth 
not if he be a practizer of physique. The lyke happened to 
your woorship (if I wel remember) a lytle before I came to 
Gwyder to see m res Boadwel. But he hastneth to ane end, 
& so doo I, with giuing me counsel in this busines, for the 
which I howld myself nothing at al behowlden wnto him. 
AVhat ! Must I use al aperitiues ? It is a hard mater. They 
are, in there latitude, hidden from any one man, if not from 
al. He nameth some lest he showld seme ignorant. As for 
asparagus, seing it is a woord signifying many thinges, as 
one may reed in the epistel of the learned Fallopius to 
Mercurialis, I beseech yow, let me in fcyndnes ask what 
signification is meant? It is a farre liarder mater to fynd 
now the usual sperage then grasse rootis. Of Ceterac & 
Tamariseh I have spoahen. If he think it a favour to sett a 
man at work I willingly wil requyt him by giuing him a task 
(if he wil) wliich lie shal fynd hard enough if he labour to 
discharge it. Last of al, to answer his confident Terentian 
proposition, this haue I resolued to doo : ubicumque fuero 

/;/ the Seventeenth Century. 197 

mentem rationum pondere ìibrari faeile patiar; non item 
philautias aut contradicendi reste trdhi. Si auando latebit 
veritas, eam ex artis principiis deducere conabor ; per modestam 
opinionum coUationem detractabo — sed modestam. Altercando 
amittitur potius reritas quam inrenitur. Yo r Woorship here 
seeth yt I have stayed somewhat to long in the examination 
of S r Tliomas his answer to yonr letter, which I did not so 
much becaus it towched nie, as that it aymeth at a course 
which seemeth best to be taken for the recouerie of your 
health, wliich I wishe may be shortly, & long continew to the 
comfort of your frendis & the goocì of the common wealth & 
your owin ofspring. I would counsel your woorsliip to send to 
London for Myrobaìani Kébuli, preserved. The Straytis mer- 
chants bring them ; they are sowld for v s a pownd. Being 
taken after meales, & at other tymes, they doo exceedingly 
strengthen the noble partis. The use of good whyte wyne with 
borrage water, borrage itself & sugar is convenient. If yow 
haue not borrage water use spring water, boyled. Tliese 
thinges are confirmed by experienoe tfc set downe by the 
learned Arnoldus de Yilla nova' in his treatishe of the tarda- 
tion of owld age. Your woorships to be used at al tymes. 

Alexandeu Read. 
From Guysannes [Gwysaney?], 17 April, 1610. 
To ye right woorshipfull S r John Wynn of Gwyder, knight, hls 
much revered frend, deliver this. 

It must not be supposed that Reirì's path was con- 
tinually beset with disputes of this nature. Scattered 
thronghout his works are references showing how pleasant 
must have been his association with the Principality. It 
can be stated with certainty that he attended Philip Her- 
bert, Earl of Montgomery, and fourth Earl of Pembroke. 
In his " Treatise of the first part of Chirurgerie " (1638), 
which he dedicates to the Earl, Eeid says : — " When I 
had occasion to use your Honour in my lawfull busi- 
nesses ". Herbert was afterwards created Baron Herbert 
of Shurland, in the Isle of Sheppey. This fact would pro- 

1 Arnold de Yilla Nova was a famous physician of the 14th 
century. He practised medicine at Paris. He extolled Aqua 
ritae, or water of Life, because it strengthens the body and pro- 
longs life. With it he made tinctures of herbs and regarded these 
as having special virtues. 

] 98 A Scottish Surgeon in Wales 

bably account for Reid's visit to the Isle, because in one 
of his lectures he mentions " being in the Ile of Sheppey, 
in Minster Street, curing one Clover, an aged man ". 1 

The name of John Egerton, Earl of Bridgewater, 
Lord President of Wales, appears in the dedication to 
another of Reid's works, 2 and aífords a further link with 
the Principality. 

Thomas, first Baron Gerard of Gerard's Bromley, was 
appointed President of the Council of the Marches of 
Wales in 1G10/17. In his " Treatise of the first part of 
Chirurgerie ' (1038), Reid tells ns how, shortly after 
Gerard's appointment, he received a sudden call to 
Gerard's Bromley to attend the Lord President's tailor, 
who had sustained a serions fracture. 

" About 20 years ago," he relates, " returning from the 
Bath, in Somerset-shire, to the Howlt, five miles from Chester, 
where then I remained, having lodged in Newport in Shrop- 
shire by the way ; I was called by this Lord Gerard's grand- 
father to Gerard's Bramley [Gerard's Bromley, eo. Staffs] to 
take a view of his Taylor, who had fraetured both the soucils 
of the legg, a little below the knee, about the breadth of a 
Palme. When I did behold the fracture with a wound, and 
the extenuation of the body, for the accident fell out ten 
weeks before, neither were the bones united, and besides 
there was a great tumour in the knee, I pronounced a linger- 
ing death to the party, unless he were out of hand dismem- 
bered above the knee. Being entreated by the sick party, and 
the Earl, to perform this operation, I yielded unto their re- 
quest ; but having by me neither instrument nor medicament, 
thus I supplyed the defect of both. I made a medicament of 
Umber and unslaked Lime, taking equal parts of both, which 
I found there, the house then being in reparation. I used a 
Joyner's whip-saw, newly toothed, and ... I dismembered the 
Lord's Taylor . . . who lived many years afterwards." 3 

Reference has already been made to Reid's association 
wilh Sir John Wynn of Gwydir and Sir Roger Mostyn. 
Another prominent Welsh family with whom he came 

1 Treatise on Ulcers, Lecture 29. 2 Treatise on Muscles. 
• 1 AVorkes : II. Treatise of wounds, p. 12d. (1650). 

in the Seve)iteenth Century. 199 

into contact was that of Salusbury of Llewenny. Sir John 

Salusbury, Kt., younger brother to Thomas Salusbury of 

Babington Plot fame, enlisted Eeid's services in the vain 

attempt to save the life of a valued retainer. 

Sir John Salusbury was the author of some delightful 

poenis which show his love of flowers, and which were 

printed m 1597. His mother was the famous Catherine 

of Berain, granddaughter of Henry VII. She married 

four times, Salusbury's falher being her first husband. 

Sir John Salusbury is said to have been called ' ' Syr John 

y Bodiau 'V from the fact that he had two thumbs on each 

hand and two great toes on each foot. He was also known 

as " the Strong " because of his enormous strength. He 

is credited with slaying a fabulous monster called the 

" bigh " or " bych ", from which the town of Denbigh is 

said to derive its name. Sir John also appears to have 

displayed his strength in uprooting forest trees as though 

they were weeds. In Christ Church Library, Oxford, 

there is a copy of Gerard's " Herbal ' which contains 

marginal notes in Sir John's own handwriting, of the 

plants to be found in North Wales. 2 It is interesting to 

find that the Scottish doctor refers to Sir John Salusbury's 

surgical skill as well as to his botanical lmowledge. The 

history of the case is as follows : — 

" In this Towne' 1 . . . a lusty young man, whose sirname was 
Owin, whose father was a retainer to Sir John Salisbury, had 
the like tumor in the Yertebrae of the loynes, after a linger- 
ing grief. I, having been entreated by the truely worshipfull 
Sir John Salisbury (who had not an ordinary skill in the 
hnnwledge of the plants, and in performing ehirurgicall cures), 
took a view of the young Gentle-man. After mature delibera- 
tion I told Sir John and the young mans friends that there 
was much quittour in the Tumor which must be discharged, 
and that the event of the curation would be uncertain if the 
matter were let out, for the reasons above specified. At the 

1 See Y Cymmrodor, Vol. xl, p. 1. 

2 Gunther. p. 238 sq. 3 Denbigh. 

200 A Scottish Surgeon in Wales 

entreaty of Sir Jolm Salusbury and the young mans parents 
and friends, I opened the Aposteme . . . and although no meanes 
were omitted which seemed unto us effectuall for the recovery 
of the young mans health . . . yet he fell into a Marasmus or 
extenuation of the body, being otherwise a proper and valiant 
young gentleman ; and so ended his life before age called for 
his dissolution, to the great grief of his parents, having no 
other Sonne but liim, and the commiseration of the worthy 
Knight." J 

Another Denbigh man, who suffered from the same 
complaint as Sir John Salusbury's retainer, was more 

" In Denbigh town there was one Richard Pryce, an 
Haberdasher, son to John Prýce, wlio kept the principall 
Inne of the town, who after he had been troubled with a 
chronicall disease, felt in his back, a little below the shoulder 
blades, a tumor still increasing in the outward parts, as he 
was eased in the inward, untill at last it grew to the bignesse 
of a penny loaf." '' I," says Reid, " having been called unto 
it, by opening of the Aposteme and using methodicall in- 
struments, cured the patient. This man (as I heare) having 
given over his trade, still heepeth the Inne which his father 
did." 2 

Other patients mentioned are : a Welsh woman named 
Price, who was cured of phthisis by taking milk from the 
breast ; Mistress Ferne of Holt ; a young man of Chester 
named Fletcher, wounded in a duel, who died fourteen 
days after receiving the wound ; James Wilkinson, who 
lived near Eeid in Chester ; and a ' ' gentleman of the race 
of the Fittens". 

But Wales was soon to lose the services of the man who 
had so ably practised his profession amongst her people. 
In 1616 there appeared a small anatomical treatise entitled 
2ü)[j.a.Toypa4>ía àvdpo)irLvrj, Or " a description of the body of 
man ". This little book was the first work from Eeid's 
pen, and was probably to make him known to the world 
outside Wales, while it may have led eventually to his 

1 A Treatise of ülcers, Lecture 29. 2 Ibid. 

in the Seventeenth Century. 201 

migration to London. His brotlier Thomas at the Court 
doubtless found occasion to bring the doctor's name to 
the King's notice, for James was always ready to prefer 
his own countrymen. Another powerful ally would be the 
Lord Gerard, whose tailor had been operated upon with 
such skill. 

Whatever the causes may have been, preferment came 
rapidly. On the 28th May, 1620, Alexander and Thomas 
Reid were both incorporated M.A. at Oxford, while on the 
following day the former was created doctor of physic by 
Letters Patent from James I. 

It is possible that Eeid's departure from Wales coin- 
cided with these academic distinctions, for it was about 
this time that he was enrolled as a foreign brother of the 
Barber-Surgeons' Hall. Moreover, in 1621, he became a 
candidate for election to the Royal College of Physicians 
of London and was admitted a Fellow of that body on 
3rd March, 1623/4. Finally, on 7th July in the same 
year, he was incorporated in his medical degree at 

It may be assumed that the recommendation of Sir 
John Wynn of Gwydir and other prominent Welshmen 
brought Reid to the notice of their fellow countrymen 
occupying high positions in London, amongst whom the 
most distinguished was John Williams, Archbishop of 
York, who, in 1621, was appointed Lord Keeper of the 
Great Seal and Bishop of Lincoln. Williams was a near 
kinsman to Sir John Wynn. Dr. Matthew Gwynne, to 
whom we have already referred, was practising in London, 
and it has been suggested that he was instrumental in 
obtaining for Reid the appointment as lecturer in anatomy 
at the Barber-Surgeons' Hall. In any case, it may be in- 
ferred from Reid's works that he was associated profes- 
sionally with Dr. Gwynne on more than one occasion. 


202 A Scottisli Suroeon in Wales 


Eeid began to lecture at the Barber-Surgeons' Hall on 
28th December, 1632, and held the post until 1634. The 
lectures were delivered on Tuesdays throughout the year, 
at an annual stipend of £20. 

The manner in which the anatomy lectures of the 
period were conducted has been fully described in Young's 
' Annals of the Barber-Surgeons' Company ", and in 
other works. The " Manual of Anatomy ", published by 
Keid in 1631, contains a frontispiece showing Dr. Reid 
lecturing, while in front of him the body lies in the usual 
manner ready for dissection, his demonstrators standing 
on either side, holding scalpels, ready to expose the parts 
described by the lecturer. 

While Reid was lecturing at the Barber-Surgeons' 
Hall, William Harvey was delivering the Lumneian Lec- 
tures at the Eoyal College of Physicians. It is not clear 
whether Reid was ignorant of Harvey's discovery of the 
circulation of the blood, or whether he definitely refused 
to accept the new teaching. Harvey's Exercitaüo Anato- 
mica de Motu Gordis et Sanguinis had appeared six years 
before the publication of Reid's Manual of Anatomy, and 
it is therefore unlikely that he would not have been 
acquainted with the theories propounded by Harvey. Reid 
followed the traditional teaching as to the functions of the 

On the termination of his lectures in 1634 Reid con- 
tinued to practice in London. He appears to have resided 
in Little Britain, lodging (for a time at least) " within the 
signe of the Naked Boy, a little below the Fleet-Conduit." 

Reid numbered amongst his patients men like Sir 
Ralph Freeman, Lord Mayor of London in 1633, who 
suffered from ' an ulcer of the tongue ", and Thomas 
Harriott, the eminent mathematician and astronomer, 
who had " a cancerous ulcer of the mouth." Harriott had 

in the Seventeenth Century. 20 


long suffered from ill-health. In 1606 he complained to 
Kepler that he was unable to write or think accurately 
upon any subject, which would account for his failure to 
complete his discoveries. Henry, Earl of Northumberland, 
had such a high opinion of his learning, says the author of 
the article in the " Dictionary of National Biography ", 
that he allowed him an annual pension of £300 for the rest 
of his life. In 1607 Harriott, at the Earl's invitation, 
went to live at Sion House, in Isleworth, Middlesex, 
where he remained until his death on 2nd July, 1621. 

That Eeid visited Wales from time to time before his 
appointment as lecturer at the Barber-Surgeons' Hall 
seems highly probable. It would be only natural on the 
part of many of his old patients to solicit his services in 
the treatment of their maladies. Sir Thomas Salusbury, 
the second baronet, grandson of that Sir John to whom we 
have already referred, succeeded his father, Sir Henry, in 
August, 1632. A letter dated from Chester in October of 
the same year, written by Sir Thomas Salusbury's bailiff 
to his master in London, would seem to indicate that Beid 
was staying in or near that city : " I was desired by Mr. 
Bede the Chirurgion,-to bringe your worship in mind of 
your promise to him att Lleweny of two Lancetts, for a 
memoriall of his office done there ; he sayeth it was your 
worships owne motion and not any request of his, which 
putts him to a more hope of perfourmance. I find him 
most willing to doe me good . . .". 1 

We have no intimate details concerning the last seven 
years of Beid's life. He appears, however, to have 
devoted such leisure as the demands of a large practice 
would allow to the publication of his numerous works. 
We have already referred to the -M/iaToypaýía âv9pwmi>r], 
Or " a description of the body of man ' ' which had ap- 

1 National Library of Wales. Llewenny Paper, No. 3, 15. 

p 2 

204 A Scottish Suro-eon in Wales 

peared in 1610. This work was re-issued (in 1034) with 

some additions on the practice of surgery and the use of 

fifty-three instruments. The " Manuall of Anatomy ' 

appeared in the same year, containing the substance of 

Eeid's lectures on anatomy. His surgical lectures were 

the next to appear ; the ' Chirurgicall Lectures on 

Wounds ' in 1634, and the ' Chirurgicall Lectures of 

tumors and ulcers " in 1635. Eeid devotes 11 lectures to 

tumours, 29 to ulcers, 34 to wounds, and 31 to the 

muscles of the body. His works, unlike those of many of 

his contemporaries, are written in English, and his style 

is clear and concise. In his opinion the pericardium is the 

' swadler ' because it envelopes the heart, while the 

carotid arteries are the " soporall vessels " because, upon 

their obstruction, " death doth immediately follow ". 

The " Chirurgorum Comes " which was Eeid's post- 

humous work, was completed and published in 1087, by 

" A Member of the College of Physitians in London ". 

In the preface to this work we are told that " if any would 

have been at the pains and charge of translating Eead into 

Latin, I question not but ere this he had obtained the suf- 

frages of the learned to have been one of the best Chirur- 

geons that ever writ, so all our English Chirurgeons of 

any note since him have subscribed their testimony of 

his great abilities. But his lectures in English being very 

scarce, it was judged that an edition of them would not 

be unacceptable ". The writer also compares Eeid's 

works with those of Van Horne 1 who divided surgery, we 

are told, " into parts according to its operations ". He 

suspects that the Dutchman copied Eeid in this respect 

because, as he says, " I have heard that Eead's Lectures 

were translated into a Foreign Tongue which very likely 

1 John van Hoorne, a distinguished anatomist and physician, 
born at Amsterdam in" 1621 ; he died 1670. He is the author of 
many \vorks on anatomy. 

in thc Sevcnteenth Century. 205 

Van Horne may have perused if he did not understand 
them in English ". 

It would appear as though this anonymous author, 
writing at a date when Harvey's teaching had become 
universally accepted, was well aware of his author's weak 
points, for he cautiously observes that Eeid's works, 
" though learned, were capable of improvement ". 

It is natural to fìnd Eeid the Surgeon affirming 
that ' the use of Chirurgery is by reason of absolute 
necessity more often required than the ministration of 
medicaments ". He does not, indeed, appear to have 
had much faith in drugs. In one of his letters to Sir 
John Wynn of Gwydir, he counsels the baronet not to 
charge " his neshe constitution ' with a ' chaos of 
medicaments ". It is also interesting to learn Eeid's 
views on Paracelsus, 1 for whom he has nothing but scorn. 
' If anyone would mispend good hours ", he says, " let 
him read Paracelsus, his great and little chirurgery, which 
are like clouds without rain ". 

Eeid died in October, 1641. His will, dated lst Feb- 
ruary, 1630/40, has been published and shows him to have 
been a wealthy man. 2 It is to be supposed that he never 
married. During his lifetime he gave the sum of £110 to 
found Bursaries in his old College at Aberdeen, to which 
he bequeathed other sums, as well as his collection of 
books. The Eoyal College of Physicians in Amen Corner 
also benefited to the amount of £100, which was be- 
queathed by Eeid for the decoration of the Anatomy 
Theatre there. 

It is to be hoped that some day further particuiars will 
come to light concerning the career of this Scottish Sur- 

1 Paracelsus, 1490-1541, an erratic revolutionary genius, who 
emphasized the value of practical experience in medicine as opposed 
to dogma and theory. Professor at Basle. 

2 Fasti. Acad. Mariscall. Aberdon, II, p. 234-5. 

2o6 A Scottish Suroeon in Wales, ctc. 

geon, whose life would, indeed, seem to convey a message 
and a warning to future generations of scientists. " It 
is the safest course to persist in the footsteps of the 
ancients ", he remarks in one of his works, " for their way 
is safe and easie ", a maxim which would seem to explain 
the reason of his own failure to achieve immortality. 

Robert Chaloner of Denbigh,: 
Son of David Chatoner of Denbîgh, a merchant 
in Chester, to wliom a crest was eonnrmed, 
by Agnea, da. and h. of Jenkin ap Twnna of 
Rhuddlan. Will 1552. 

Dowse, da. of Richard Matliew 
of Lleweni Green, by Jane 
his wife, da. of David Myd- 
delton of Gwaynynog, 
Receiver-General of North 

= David Bircbenshaw 
of Denbigh, 
willdated 1570, 
„ proved 1582 

— Thomas Bellyn 

1. William = Anne da. 
uf Denbigh I of Edwnrd 
ap Hugh 



2. Jolin of Deiibigh=AlÌce. da. of 

Clerlt of thö Peace. Deputy E n tei 
iii the Lordehip oí ChírÉ Eacheator 
of the Lordship of Denbîgh on the 
düiith of Robert I ludley Earl of LeicoB- 
tiT, wíiMMe sorwiiiit lie wasand liy wliom 
Iie was granted tbe estate of Lloran 
Oanol A Surveyor of Denbigh Castle 
1697. Died 1699 

nf I>enbigh,by 
Agnes, sister 
to Sir Ilichard 

3. Rhy8=Margaret, da, and h, of 

IWm. ap John ap 
Robt. ap Ricliard of 


4. Thomas of Chester, 
Ulster King of Arms. Paint- 
er, poet, antiquary and aetor. 
Freeman of Chester 6 Oct., 
1584. Married 8 Nov., 1584. 
Died 14 May, 1598. M.I. St. 
Michael's, Chester. 

Elizabeth, da. ofc 
Thonias Alcoclí 
of Chester. 
Died 24 May 


Randle Holme, herjildic 
painter and antiq»ary 
Apprenticed to Thomas 
Chaloner 10 Jannar;, 
1587. Freemanof Che^- 
ter 3 June 1598. Al- 
derman. Mayor 163-'. 
Servant to Henry 
Prince of Wales. DÌed 
16 January 1655, age<I 

Anthony of Chirk-: 

land, in the castle 
service at Chirk 

=Margaret, da. of Robert 
Salisbnry of Lìandyr- 
nog, son of Robert 
Salisbury of Henllan 



6. Henry of London, t'ieely=Wm. Rutter of 
haberdasher, ol Deiibigb 



i i 

: 'i-ubigb 

Horaldii.' painter, mulcor and 
collectoi of pedigroos, Born 
6Feb., 1686, ippruuticoiì to 
FtandleHolme 1602. Diedin 
the Strancl, în London, 25 
Nov., 1681 

i i tob Murgnret, da. of John 

■ . 

Plethyn of Hnwardon, 
nt, St. Chriatophf 


Jane, twin witli 
Jacob, born Ìn 
Chester. 1 Üed 
in London.s.p. 

Thomas, born 23 
i- b 1688. Died 
iii L'indon. s.p. 


Daniel,sculpt.j: it " f ree mason".= 
Born 14 Dec. 1589. Bap. St. 
Mìchael's, Cln.'ster. Freeman of 
Chester, 30 Oct. 1616. "Stone 
cutter" of London. Appren- 
ticed to Maximiliam Poutrain, 
alias Colte, "stone carver", of 
St. Bart. the Great, 15 May, 
1607. Freeman of London. 
Díed Ìn London, 1 March 1636. 
Will 44 Goare. 

Ursula, da. of John 
Dorchester of 
Finchley, Middle- 
sex, by Anne, da. 
of Simon Rowe 

Ursula, born 30 Sep. 
1591. DiedinLon- 
don. s.p. 

Marv. born 20 May, 
l.-,*;)*, Bur. St. Mary's, 
Chester, 2 Dec. 1613 

I I 

Margaret.bur. Elizabeth of=George Fernli 

St. John's, St. Mary's, licence t< mari 

Chester Chester at St. M 

Dec. 1613 

,li,.,l III July, 1633. 

£wo TM00 'jfyndìic Çpẃtgre**, witÿ 

Qtoí*ff on £0omae CÇafoner 
of ©enBígÇ anb C0<0f«r ŷ (Ufefer TRing 

of Qjtrms* 

By W. J. HEMP, F.S.A., 

Secretanj to the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments ( ìì aiesj. 

The two Elizabethan pedigrees which form the subject 
oí' this paper are cast in a somewhat unusual form, 
technically called a " target ". Both deal with families 
dwelling on the border land of North Wales, and, although 
written and painted by different hands, it is likely that 
both represent the work of Thomas Chaloner of Chester, 
whose immediate ancestry one of them records. 

This Thomas Chaloner was the fourth son of Robert 
Chaloner of Denbigh by Dowce his wife, daughter of 
Eichard Mathew of Lleweni Green. The family had long 
been settled in North Wales, although it probably took 
its origin and name from some Cheshire maker of or dealer 
in linen quilts or coverlets, known as ' shalloons " ; 
" Roger the Chaloner " of Chester occurs in 1288. 

In Elizabethan times, however, the claini was made 
that this family descended from Madoc Crwm, who was 
said to have flourished in the thirteenth century and 
to have been called " Chaloner " as a result of residence 
at Chalons in France ; although his descent was Welsh, 
he being the great-grandson of the founder of the seventh 
tribe of North Wales, Maelog Crwm of Nantconway, 
" Lord of Llechwedd isaf and Creuddvn ", who himself 

2o8 Two Welsh Heraldic Pedigrees. 

is described as " 4th son of Greddyf ap Ewnnws ddu ap 
Killingad the 13th son in lineal descent from Kynedda 
Wledic King of North Wales ". 1 

Among Maelog Crwm's ancestors was Helig ap Glan- 
nug, the foundations of whose long submerged home are 
said to be still traceable in the sea between the mouth of 
the Conway and Ynys Lannog (Puffìn Island). 

Improbable as this tale of the Welsh sojourner in 
France may be, in view of the frequency of the name 
Chaloner at that period, it is a fact that in 1301 the Public 
Eecords tell of " William de Chalons, burgess of Conway 
who bought land at Conway from the King and subse-. 
quently lent money to the King's worhmen employed at 
Conway ". 

The name of Chaloner often occurs among the early 
records connected with Cheshire and the adjoining parts 
of Lancashire. 

Several members of the family were students of 
heraldry and genealogy, and our Thomas Chaloner was 
employed as an agent by the College of Heralds for soine 
years under the designation of ' ' Deputy to the Office of 
Arms ", before he was created Ulster King of Arms. This 
appointment he only received on the day of his death, 
llth May, 1598, as recorded on his monument in St. 
Michael's Church, Chester (fig. 3). 2 He also took advan- 
tage of his visitations and travels in North W T ales and 

1 Nat. Lib. Wales, Kimmel MS. No. 5. 

2 See Appendix. He is described on the monument in St. Mary's 
Church, Chester, commemorating Randle Holme the Second, as 
" de eadem civitate quandoque Ulster regis armorum pro Hiberniai 
regno." There is considerable mystery about Chaloner's appoint- 
ment, as Haydn's Book of Dignities records the appointment of 
Christopher Ussher as Ulster, by Letters Patent dated 30 June, 
1588, and Mr. T. U. Sadleir, Registrar of the Office of Arms, Dublin 
Castlc (Ulster's office) tells me that Ussher " was buried 2 June, 
1597. According to our records Daniel Molyneus was then appointed 
and continued in office till 1633." According to Hajdn Molyneux's 

Two Welsh Heraldic Pedigrees. 209 

Cheshire to make antiquarian and heraldic notes, which 
are now of great yalue. 1 He became a Freeman of Chester 
011 October 6th, 1584, and, as noted by Mr. J. P. Ear- 
waker, 2 was a painter, poet and antiquary, as well as a 
member of Lord Derby's company of players. 

On Nov. 8th, 1584, he married Elizabeth, daughter 
of Thomas Alcock, of Chester, and 011 Jan. lOth, 1587, 
he took as his apprentice one Eandle Holme. After 
Chaloner's death, in 1598, Holme married his master's 
widow, and in 1602 apprenticed his stepson, Jaeob 
Chaloner, to himself. Jacob became a well-known 
heraldic agent, painter and collector of pedigrees, and 
eventually moved to London, where he died in 1631. 
Randle Holme remained in Chester and built up the 
heraldic business which was to be carried 011 by his son, 
grandson and great-grandson, all bearing the same name, 
on the foundations laid by Chaloner's work. Eandle III 
was the author of the well-known " Academy of Armory ". 

Ulster's great nephew, Captain Eobert Chaloner, of 
Lloran, co. Denbigh, and Eoundway, co. Wilts (1612- 
1675), was also a herald, being appointed Bluemantle 
Pursuivant in 1660, and Lancaster Herald in 1665. 

But the members of the family best known to history 
were Ulster's second cousin, Sir Thomas Chaloner, the 
Elizabethan diplomatist and man of affairs, son of Eoger 
of Denbigh and London, together with his son, another 
Sir Thomas, Chamberlain to Henry, Prince of W ales, 

patent was datecl 28 June, 1597. As Chaloner died 14 May, 1598, it 
would seem that there were two claimants for the post, since the 
statement on Randle Holme II. 's monument would not have been 
made without some warranty. 

1 According to Mr. Earwaher MS. Harley 2151 contains notes 
on monuments and w indows in churches made by Thomas Chaloner 
and others and arranged by the third Randle Holme. 

2 The four Randle Holmes of Chester; Journ. Chester Arch. 
and Hist. Soc, n.s., iv. (1S92). 

2io Tzvo Welsh Heraldic Pedigrees 


and his grandson, a third Thomas, the regicide, whose 
brother James also sat in judgment on the King and was 
a noted antiquary and one of the earliest English topo- 

To balance the political record of these last, there 
was, in addition to their own Eoyalist brothers, the head- 
master of Shrewsbury School, another Thomas Chaloner, 
a descendant of Ulster's brother John, who was expelled 
from his post on account of his Eoyalist sympathies, and 
after a long period of exile, during which he was a suc- 
cessful headmaster of Euthin and other schools, was 
restored to his post at Shrewsbury when the King came 
to his own again. His diary still bears witness to the 
rccording instincts of his family. 1 

A brief reference may be made tu the possible con- 
nection of Thomas Chaloner with Freemasonry. Mr. 
Earwaker, in the article already mentioned, refers to 
evidence proving that the Holmes were masons and quotes 
the third Eandle's description of himself in 1688 as " a 
Member of that Society, called Free-Masons ", pointing 
out that he was one of the earliest Freemasons whose 
name has come down to us. Thomas Chaloner's son 
Daniel is called ' ' Freemason ' ' — whatever that may con- 
note in the case of a professional sculptor — and at the end 
of the Chaloner monumental inscription in St. Michael's 
is a symbol, a triangle point downwards surmounted by a 
ring, which also appears in some of the Harleian MSS., 
and niay perhaps have been Chaloner's private mark 
(fig. 3). 2 

1 One of his descendants is responsible for these notes, as he also 
was for an account of Denbigh Castle, published in the Cymmrodor 
in 1926, the last recorded survey of the castle having been made 
by John Chaloner, Ulster's brother, and his own ancestor. 

2 For further information on this subject see " A Short History 
of Freemasonry in Chester " by Henry Taylor and P. H. Lawson. 

Fig. 1. The Chaloner Ped 


Toface />. 211. 

Fig. 1. The Chaloner Pedigree. 

Tofacep. 211. 

Tzvo Welsh Heraldic Pedigrees. 2 1 1 

I. — The Chaloner Pedigree. 

This is an ingenious attempt to record in a compact 
form five generations of the ancestors of Thomas Chaloner, 
together with the arms they bore or which were attributed 
to them (rig. 1). The names appear in circles which are 
connected by lines indicating the descents, and the appro- 
priate shield accompanies the name of each of the thirty- 
two great-great-great-grand parents on the outside circle. 
In addition, four impaled shields display the arms of 
Thomas Chaloner and those of his parents and grand- 
parents. Nine of the shields are blank and one is in trick 
only, the rest are in their proper colours. 

The design measures abut 12f inches in diameter. 
The drawing is poor, and the execution in general some- 
what careless — in fact the document has the appearance 
of having been intended as a rough draft. The parchment 
has suffered from age and dirt and also from being folded. 
It is now preserved at Oxford in the Bodleian Library, 
its reference being MS. Jesus Coll. E.130. 

The date is about 1590 to judge from the fact 
that four only of Thomas Chaloner's children are named, 
including Daniel who was born in 1589, but excluding 
Mary who was born in 1591 and survived until 1613, and 
her sister Elizabeth who married in 1613. 

For convenience of identifìcation and reference the 
circles containing names have been treated as four rings, 
lettered A, B, C and D (E being the central circle) 
and numbered clockwise. The outer ring of shields 
corresponds with ring A, but the four inmost shields are 
lettered a, b, c, d ; the clockwise system has been departed 
from in this case only. 

The following are the inscriptions in the circles with 
the corresponding coats of arms. Additions are indicated 
by square brackets. In the case of both the Chaloner 

2 1 2 Two Welsh Heraldic Pediorees. 

and the Broughton pedigrees no atternpt has been made 
to expand or annotate the entries except by the addition 
to the blazons of the arms in each case the farnily name 
or that of the best known ancestor. 


1. — Howell Chaloner of Ritheland 

Sa. a cìiev. betweën three cherubs or. [Chaloner] 
2. — Ales daughter to Eice ap Dauid ap Kendrick of 

Vert a stag pass. regard. arg. [Cynwrig F} r chan] 
3. — Ithell Anwell ap Day ap Ithell of [blank, rcctc 

Per pale or and gu. a hymmoch arg. between tivo Uons 
ramp. addorsed, counterchanged. [Ithel Anwyl] 
4. — Gwenlyan daughtr to Jem 1 ap Lln ap Kendrick 

Sa. a chev. between three goafs heads erased or. 

[Ithel Felyn] 
5. — Thomas Peake of Lluney greene 

Chechy or and gu. a salt. erm. [Peake] 
G. — Jaiie dauo-hter and heire of Wttr Clare als Clark 

Arg. a Uon jmss. gn. [Clare or Clark] 
7. — Sr John Donne of Ytldngton lcnight 

Barry of jîve az. and arg. on a bend gu. three arrows 
silver. [Done] 
8. — Elizabeth daughter to Sr pears dutton of dutton 

Quarterly arg. and gu., in the second and third guar- 
ters afret or. [Dutton] 

!). — Jem 3 somie to Eigniö ap Grirf ap Un ap Kendk 
ap Osbourn 

llnn. a saltire gu. charged with a crescent or. 

[Osborne Fitzgerald (Wyddel)] 

1 This name is clearly written Jeni throughout, but is appar- 
ently intended for Jeuan (Evan), as in MS. Harley 1157, f. 61 b, 
tliis same man appears as '' Juan ap Llewelin ap Kendrick." 

Two Welsh Heraldic Pediprees. 2 1 3 


10. — Angharat dar to dd ap Gwillim lLoyd 

(7/i trick) \_Arg.~] a chev. between tlirec boar's heads 
couped [sa.]. [Ednowain Bendew (?)] 
11. — Ithell ap Kendrick ap Blethen ap Ithell anwell 

Arms as No. 3. [Ithel Anwyl] 
12. — Llneke daughter & heire of Jem ap G-rono 

Vert a cliev. between three wolf's Jieads erased arg. 

[Rhiryd Flaidd] 
13-16,— [Blank] 
17. — Lewis Mathew of Llandaffe 

Sa. a lion ramp. between three crosses croslet arg. 

18-20.— [Blank] 

21. — Thomas Byrchenshaw of Denbighe 1 

Arg. semy nf estoiles a pegasns gu. [Birchenshaw] 
22.— [Blank] 
23. — Richard Pigott ap Jenkyn ap Howell Pigott 

Erm. three fusils conjoined in fess and a border en- 
grailed sa. [Pigott] 
24. — Nest daughter to Townas 

[Shield blank] 
25. — Ririd ap Dauid ap Pothan Ylayd 

Arg. on a bend vert tJiree woìf's Jieads erased siìrer. 

[Middleton (Pothan Flaidd)] 
26. — Cecily danghter and heire of Sr. Alexandr 

Gu. on a bend ortJiree lions pass. sa. [Middleton] 
27. — Grnffith ap Jenkyn ap gwalltr of Broughton 

Sa. a cJiev. betw. tJiree oivls arg. [Broughton] 
28. — Gwenhwver daughtr and heir of dauid yychan ap 


Gu. tJtree snnJ:es nowed together arg. [Ednowain ap 


1 Thomas Bwrchinsliaw=Katrin v. ag aeres y Richard Pigot 
vichan (Dwnn, II. 346 sub Llansannan). 

2 1 4 Tivo Welsh Heraldic Pedigrees. 

29. — Sr John Donne of Vtkington knight 

Arms as No. 7 [Done] 
30. — Elizabeth daughter to Sr pears dutton of dutton 

Arms as No. S [Dutton] 
31. — Tho Weaver of Weaver als Weawer esq 

Arrj. two bars sa. on a canton of the last a garb or. 

32. — Margaret daughter to Thomas Venables of 

Az. two bars arg. [Venables] 


1. — Dauid Chaloner sonne of Howell 

2. — Rose daughtr and heire of Ithwell Anwell 

3. — Richard Peake of LLuney greene 

4. — Margaret daughter to Sr John Donne knight 

5. — Tonna sonne of Jem of Rithlâd in fflintsh 

6. — Agnes daughter to Ithell ap Kendrick 

7-8.— [Blank] 

9. — John Mathew of Lluney greene 

10.— [Blank] 

11. — Thomas Byrchenshaw of Arloyd 

12. — Ivathren daughter & heire of Richard Pigott 

13. — Eirid Midelton sonne of Ririd ap Dauid 

14. — Mary daughter & heir of Gruffith 

15. — John Done of Vtkington esq 

16. — Margaret daughter and heir of Tho Weaver of 


1. — Rice Chaloner of Denbigh sonne of Dd 

2. — Urselaw daughter to Richard Peake of Llvny 

3. — Jenkyn Tonna of Rithland 

Two Welsh Hcraldic Pedigrees. 21 • 

4.— [Blank] 

5. — Thomas Mathew of Llvnney greene 

6. — Margaret daughter to Thomas Byrchenshaw 

7. — Dauid Midelton sonne of Eirid 

8. — Ellen daughter of John done esq 

ETNG d. 

1. — Eobart Chaloner of Denbigh sonn of dd 

2. — Dauid Chaloner of Denbigh sonne of Eice 

3. — Agnnes daughter and heir of Jenkÿ 

4. — Urselaw Chaloner Elizabeth Chaloner 2 daughts 

5. — Jacob Chaloner Daniell Chaloner 2 sons 

6. — Eichard Mathew of Llvney green 

7. — Jane daughter of Dauid Midelton esq 

8. — Dowce daughter of Eichard Mathew 



Thomas Chaloner of Chester mared Elizabeth da to 
William Allcock of Chester. 


a. Arg. on a chev. sa. three cherubs or. [Chaloner] , imp. 

arg. a fess gu. betw. three scythes sa. ; the fess charged 

lüith an escallop or for diff. [Alcock]. (Corresponds 

with central circle.) 
1). Chaloner, as above (a), imp. Sa. a lion ramp. betw. three 

crosses croslet arg. [Mathew]. (Corresponds with D.l 

and D.8.) 
c. Chaloner, as above (a), imp. Erm. a saltire gu. charged 

lüith a crescent or. [Osborne Fitzgerald (Wyddel)]. 

(Corresponds with D.2 and D.3.) 
(1. Mathew, as above (b), imp. Arg on a bend rert three 

wolf's heads erased silver. [Middleton]. (Corresponds 

with D.6 and D.7.) 

2 1 6 Tzvo Welsh Heraldic Pedigrees. 


N.B. — Except where noted all the coats are recorded 
by Papworth. 

The Aems of Chaloner. 

Four different coats are assigned to the Denbighshire 
Chaloners. No. 1 is Arg. a cross flory raguly bctween four 
choughs or crows sa. This appears to be a variant of the 
Flintshire coat assigned to the descendants of Edwin of 
Tegeingle. It was used on occasion by several members 
of the clan, including Sir Thomas the elder, but eventually 
seems to have been abandoned for the other coats, No. 2, 
Arg. on a chev. sa. three hneeìing angeìs or ; 3, Arg. on a 
chcr. sa. threc chembs, faces ppr. wings or ; and 4, Sa. a 
chev. betw. three cherubs or. 

No. 2 is assigned to Maelog Crwm, Lord of Llechwedd 
isaf and Creuddyn, founder of the seventh tribe of North 
Wales, and Nos. 3 and 4 were used by various descendants 
of the Denbigh family ; No. 4 is first attributed to Madoc 
Crwm, the first to take the name of Chaloner in the 
thirteenth century, the three previous generations being 
given Arg. a chev. betio. three cranes sa. 

Thomas Chaloner in this pedigree gives No. 4 to his 
earliest ancestor recorded on it (shield Al), but adopts 
No. 3 in the case of himself and his father and grandfather 
(shields a, b and c). This coat also appears on his monu- 
ment at Chester (fig. 3). 

What must be intended for another variety of the arms 
appears on a monument in Buthin Church, dated 1713, 
commemorating Thomas Boberts of ' Bryne y neuadd 
in comitatu Arvonise Armiger ' ' and his wife Katharine 
daughter of John Owen of " Varchwell in eodem comitatu 
Gen.". An inescutcheon bears the coat Az. a chev. betw. 
three hneeling angels or. 

The only explanation given of the origin of the arms is 

Two Welsh Hcraldic Pcdiçrees. 2 1 


to be found in B.M. Add. MS. 9804, where it is stated that 

' Trahairn de Chaloner . . . took the Lord of Chaloner 

prisoner in the wars in France and took possession of his 

lands and assumed his armorial bearings, viz., Argcnt 

on a chcrroìi sable tìircc angcls adoring or ", also that 

' Trahairn was the son of Gwilim ap Madog ap Maelawg 

Crwm Lord of Llechwedd Tsaf and Creuddÿn in the time 

of David ap Owen, Prince of Norlli Wales, 1175 ". 

Sir Thomas Chaloner the younger, Ulster's contem- 
porary, used the cross raguly between four birds, as did 
his father, and he also used the crest confìrmed to his great 
uncle, David Chaloner of Denbigh, Ulster's grandfather ; 
but on his monument in Chiswich church his quartered 
shield has the chevron between three cherubs in the first 
quarter and the cross and birds in the second. 

A3. — The object between the two lions is a very rare 
charge ; " hymmock " is the Welsh " humog " meaning a 
bat or racket. According to Kinmel MS. 4, in the National 
Library of W T ales, it also figured in the arms of ' Tra- 
hayarn Brenin Peter Aûr ' Vert a hymmocke arg. betw. 
thrce bezants. The hymmock in this coat is recorded in 
Papworth as " a Greek phi ' ' and elsewhere it is described 
as a ' Eoman P ' (Genealogist, n.s. xix, 118). Yet 
another and probably more correct description is given 
by Mr. E. A. Ebblewhite in " Flintshire Genealogical 
Notes ", p. 85, where he says that " a hummock " was a 
sort of sling shaped like a P, or rather an instrument for 
the propulsion of a missile which was fixed in the loop at 
one end of it. The two sketches ífig. *2) 1 illustrate two 
methods of drawing the object ; A is from a drawing in 
Add. MS. 129 c (p. 18) in the National Library of Wales, 
a book of arms formerly in the possession of Sir William 

1 See page 225. 


2 1 8 Two Welsh Heraldic Pediçrees. 


Betham, Ulster; and B from Peniarth MS. 128 (p. 357) in 
the same collection. 1 

A17. — Papworth has Or a lion ramp. sa. betw. three 
crosses croslet of the second for ' Mathew, Llewenny 
Green co. Denbigh ; descended from Llandaff ". Mathew 
of Llandaff bore Or a lion ramp. sa. The entry here is 
altered and there is an illegible word struck out below. 

A21. — The estoiles are omitted bv Paoworth, but Dwnn 
(II 346; has " Argent so many molets Gules about the 
Pegus Gwles pasant ". 

A23. — Papworth omits the border. 

A26. — Not in Papworth. 

A31. — Papworth gives the garb as argent. 

II. — The Broughton Pedigree. 

This pedigree (tìg. 4) records the descent and marriage 
of Richard Broughton of Lower Broughton in the parish of 
Bishops Castle, a member of the Council of the Marches. 
He married Ann, daughter of Richard Bagot of Blithfìeld, 
on July 30th, 1577, and it is likely that this date is 
approximately that of the manuscript. 

Dwnn also gives the pedigree of Richard " Brogdyn " 2 
and mentions him as one of the aristocracy by whom he 
was permitted to see old records. 3 He shows a single 
child, Robert, as the issue of the marriage, and it is to be 
noted that his accounts of the wives' pedigrees vary on 
occasion from those given by the manuscript. 

Ann Bagot was born llth May, 1555, her mother 
being Mary daughter of William Saunders of YYelford, 
Northants. Her father was born 8th December, 1529, and 
\\,is buried at Blithfield 2nd February, 1596/7, where is 
his monumental inscription ; her mother was buried in the 

1 See Arch Camb. 1895, p. 321. 

2 Vol. 1, p. 329. 
• 1 Yol. 1, p. 7. . 


F'g- 4. The Broughton Pedigree. 

Tofaap 2i<). 

Fig. 4. The Broughton Pedigree. 

To facc p. 2iq. 

Two Welsh Heraldic Pedigrees. 219 

same place 22nd March, 1608/9. 1 Ann Broughton's por- 
trait and those of her parents are preserved at Blithfield. 

As to the domicile of Richard Broughton's ancestors, 
Hurdley is 3 m. S.E. of Montgomery and \\ m. E. of 
Church Stoke, while "oües'' no doubt is the present 
Roveries | m. N.E. of Snead and 1 m. from Lower 
Broughton. The old form indicates the Anglo-Welsh 
derivation of the present name from ' Yr Overies ". 
Lower Broughton itself is 1 m. N.W. of Bishops Castle 
and \ m. from it is Upper Broughton. 

Since the design of the Broughton pedigree varies only 
slightly from that of Chaloner the same type of key is 
adopted. As before, shields and names are lettered and 
numbered in rings, but the description begins at the 
bottom of the outer ring with the name of the earliest 
Broughton ancestor. 

The parchment is in good order, and the drawing of 
the shields is in most cases excellent for its date ; in some 
instances they have been altered, and more than one hand 
can be traced in the lettering. The diameter of the 
design is about 16J inches. 

The following is a transcript ; square brackets as be- 
fore indicate additions. 


1. — leolinus fìl Theodori fil Gruffini de hurdley f Thr 
f mad f hoft f Rofeti militis f Thr f madoc de oües f Eignon 
godris f Witti f Wm d etc 

Sa. a ckev. betw. three owls arg. 

[Broughton ot' Lower Broughton] 
2._Alson fil Meredith fil Ade moile f gfm f ftn f 
Theodor f cad 

1 F. A. Crisp, Yisitation of England and Wales Notes, Vol. 
10, p. 140. 

Q 2 

220 Tiüo Welsh Heraldic Pedi°rees. 

1 atul 4, arg. ihree boar's heads couped sa. 2 and 3, gu. 
a lion ramp. regard. or. [Elystan Glodrydd] 
[Above the shield is written "Elistan", and in the 
centre of the circle "Ithell " has been erased.] 

3. — Jevan Gethin ap dd ap meredith ap dd ap Ris ap 
Juor hen 

Or a lion ramp. az. [Bleddyn ap Cynfyn ?] 
[Above the shield is written "o lion R..B.".] 
4. — Eua fìl dd ap gr' ap owen ap dd ap Eignon [blank] 

Arg. a cross engr. botonnée gu. betw.four choughs. 
[No botonnée cross is recorded by Papworth — perhaps 
intended forOwain of Tegeingle.] 

5. — meredith ap Jolin ap Ada vichan ap Jeuan ap 
Jerwerth voil 

Arg. a lion pass. sa. the fore feet fettered or. 

[Madoc ap Adda Foel] 
6. — [Blanlc] filia madoci ap nieredith ap Ada. v. ap 
Ada ap lln ap mad ap Jer' 

Arg. a cross. fiory engr. sa. betw. four choìighs, on a 
chief az. a boar's head couped siher. [Idnerth Benfras] 
7. — dauid fìl hoel. iscolhaig. i. Beau clerlc. [blanlc] 
Judex aruistly 

Az. a grijjin arg. armed gu. [Painted over Or a lion 
ramp. az. for Bleddyn ap Cynfyn.] 

[Above the shield is an erased and illegible word, no 
doubt connected with the alteration.] 

8. — Agnes l a triû fil et coher' Gruffini de Broughton f 
Jenlcin f Joh f w ri f w ri f w ri 

Sa. three owls arg. [Broughton of Upper Broughton] 
9. — meredith ap holt ap mer' ap ada ap madoc ap 
malgon ap Cadwallon ap Madoc ap Idnerth ap Cadogan 
ap Athlestâ glodrith 
Arms as no. 2. 

Two Welsh Heraldic Pedigrees. 221 

10. — maud v'z Jenlcin ap euan ap madoc ap Eirid ap 
holl ap Trahaiern ap Pasgen ap gwm ap gr' ap Beli 
Sa. three horse's heads erased arg. 

[Ysgythrog, Prince of Powjs] 
11. — madoc ap Evan goz ap mad ap Einon ap holl ap 
Tud r ap cadr ap einon vichä ap einö ap euá ap grono ap 
Juor ap Jdnerth ap cad ap A. gl. 
Arms as no. 2. 
12. — gwenhoiuar v'z dd ap cadogan ap ph dordj ap holl 
ap madoc ap Trahaiern ap gr' goz ap gr' velin ap grono 
ap gurgen ap hoedliu ap Cadogan ap A. glodr'. 
Arms as no 2. 
13. — Gruff Dewrwas ap meuric lloid ap m c vichan ap 
Juir ap m c ap mad' ap Cadogan ap Blethin 
Arms as no 3. 
14. — mallt fii Jeuan lloid ap Jeuá blajne ap Jeuan ap 
cadjuor [blank] Energlin 

Sa. a spear head arg. embrued ppr. betiu. three scal- 
iug ladders süver two and one, on a chief gu. a tower 
triple towered arg. [Cadifor ap Djfnwal] 
15. — Dauid lloid ap dd ap Einon ap holl ap Theodor 
ap Eignon vichâ ap Eignon ap Jeuä etc 
Arms as no. 2. 
16. — Gwenllian fìi owini ap gr' ap Eignon ap gr' ap 
Ejnon ap gwriad — Towin 

Gu. a chev. betw. in chief two fleurs de lis and in base 
a lion ramp. or. [Rhjs ap Meredjdd of Towjn] 
[Papworth gives the field az.~\ 
17. — gr' ap euä ap madoc ap Gwenwis 

Arms as no. 10. 
18. — maud v'z gr' ap Ris ap euä vichan ap euan ap Ris 
ap llwdden ap Jorwerth ap Vchtrid ap Edwin 
Gu. a griffin segreant or. [Llawdden?] 

222 Two Welsh Heraldic Pedẁrees 


19. — Gruff de Broughton 

Arms as no. 8. 

20. — Gwenhoiuar v'z dd viehä ap euä ap dd goz ap 

Theodor yichan ap Tud 1 ' goz ap Tuder lloid ap Ednowen 

ap Bradwen 

Gu. 3 snaJces nowed arg. [redrawn] 

[Ednowain ap Bradwen] 

21. — Erward ap Einon ap gr' ap lln' ap keiif'c ap 

Robert ap osbert gwithel i hifenic 9 

Erm. a saltire gu. charged witìi a crescent or. 

[Osborne Fitzgerald (Wyddel)] 

22. — Gwenllian filia kenfric ap Robt [blank] Tegiengle 

Arg. a cross engr. Jlory sa. betw. four chougìis. 

[Edwin of Tegeing-le] 

[Painted over Arg. a chev. sa. betw. three ? 

23. — Gruff Dewrwas ap m c Uoid m c vichan ap Juir ap 

m c etc. 

Arms as no. 3. 

24. — mallt fil Jeuan Uoid ap Jeuan blayne ap Jeuan ap 

Cadiuor [blanlc] De Energlin 

Arms as no. 14. 

25. — gr' vichan ap gr' ap Jeuä ap hilin ap Jeuâ ap 

Adda [blank] De mochnant 

Sa. on a bend. or a lion pass. gu. [perhaps intended 

for Cynwrig Efell, Gu. on a bend arg. a lion pass. sa. - ] 

2b\— [Blank.] 

27. — Dauid kiffin ap mad ap madoc goz kiffin ap Jeuaf 

ap kyhelin ap Run ap Einö Euelh 

Arg. a chev. gu. betw. tìiree pJieons, tJie two in cJtief 

h/ing fesswise point to point and that in the base erect sa. 

" [Kyffyn] 

28. — Kathina fil. morga ap dd. ap morgan 

Arg. semy of slips ofbroom vert, a lion ramp or. 

[Sandde Hardd] 

29. — Jeuä Blayne ap gr' ap Ueh vichan ap llen ap meilir 

gric ap gr' ap Jerwerth ap owen ap Rodri ap waeden 

Arms as no. 10. 

Tzvo Welsh Hcraldic Pedigrees. 223 

30.— Elen v'z llen ap dd ap Euä lloid ap lln ap Tuder ap 
Einon ap Sitsilt arglwidd merionith 

Ârg. a lion pass guard. sa. behv. threefleurs de lis gu. 

[Einion ap Sitsyllt] 
31. — hoft ap meredith vichan [blank] or mais maur 

Or a lion ramp. sa. 
[? for Grwaethfoed — whose lion is usually regardant.] 
32. — Kath' ap dd ap hoft ap cad r ap hoìi vichan ap hott 
ap gr' ap hoft Sais ap hoft ap llision ap Ris vichä ap gr' 
ap Eis ap Theodor 

Gu. a lion ramp. within a border indented or. 

[Ehys ap Tudor] 


1-2.— Jeuan fit llfi fil Theodor = Eua 

1 imp. 3. 
3-4.— leolinus Dithor = Eosa fil et heres 

5 imp. 7. 
5-6. — Jeuan ap meredith ap hoft = Jonet 

9 imp. 11. 
7-8. — gwilim Dewrwas = Elen 

13 imp. 14 {Sic, it should be 15). 
9-10.— Gruff' vichan miles = Margreta vna triü fit & 

17 imp. 19. 
11-12.— Jenldn ap Erward ep Einion = Ellin 

21 iuip. 23. 
13-14. — Jeuan ap gr' vichan = gwenhoiu' 

25 imp. 27. 
15-16. — gr' ap Jeuan Blayne = gwenllian 

29 imp. 81. 


1-2.— Cad r fil Jeuan fil lleh de Broughton = Margreta 
fil et lieres 

1 inrp. 5. 

224 Tivo Welsh Heraldic Pedigrees. 

3-4. — John lloid ap euä = Margaret 

9 imp. 13. 
5-6. — Reignold ap Sir gr' = Maud 2 a vxor 

17 imp. 21. 
7-8. — dd lloid ap Jeuan = Maud 

25 imp. 29. 


1-2. — Jofres fil Cad r de Broughton = Elizabeth 

17 imp. 25. 
3-4. — John Win ap Reignold de Broughton = Elen 

1 imp. 9. 


1-2. — Robertus Brougfhton = Jana 
1 imp. 17. 


1-2. — Ricüs Broughtoh = Anna fil Ricî bagot 

Broughton of Lower Broughton (A.l) quartering 
Madoc ap Adda Foel (A.5) ; Bleddyn ap Cynfyn (A.3) ; 
and Broughton of Upper Broughton (A.8) : impaling 
Bagot, arg. a chev. gu. behueen three martlets sa. quar- 
tering Bagot, Erm. three cìievs. az [altered from gu.~] ; 
Stafford, or a chev. gu. ; Malory, or a lìon ramp. double 
tailed gu. ; Blithfield, Per pale indented arg. and sa.; 
and Wastneys, Sa. a lion ramp. double tailed arg. 
collared gu. 

Another target pedigree is preserved in Taunton 
museum, it is dated 1626 and records the names and 
heraldry of the ancestors of Edward Somerset, Marquess 
of Worcester (1601-1667) to the sixth generation. The 
outer ring contains 64 shields, twice as many as the two 
here described. (See Somerset Archceological and N. Hist. 



Fig. 3. Tofacep.225. 

The Chaloner Monument in St. Michael's Church, Chester. 

Two Welsh Heraldic Pedio-rees. 


Soc. Proceedìngs, vol. 62, p. lxxv. I owe this reference to 
Mr. H. St. GeorgeGray.) 

Fig. 2 (see p. 217). 


The inscription 011 Thomas Chaloner's monument on 
the wall of the N. aisle in St. Michael's church, Chester 
(fig. 3) runs thus : — 

Hic iacet corpvs Thom^; Chaloneri nvper de hac 


which may be translated : — Here lies the body of Thoinas 
Chaloner late citizen of this town, whom the chief herald 
froui the Trent northwards 1 had appointed as his deputy 
on the day of his death 14 May 1598 [On attaining] this 
his great ambition he breathed his last. 

' i.e., " Norroy Kinge of Armes, of the East, West, and North 
partes of ye realm of England from the river of Trent north- 
wards," as Plower describes himself in a grant of arms dated 1575, 
printed in the Yorhshire Archceological Journal xviii, 121. 

(ttoíee on íÇe (#nne of (0í&0op 
(Utc^ofae (RoBínsom 

By w. j. hemp, f.s.a. 

Archdeacon Evans' paper on Nicholas Robinson in Vol. 
XXXIX of Y Cymmrodor throws light on an error of 
long standing in connection with the Bishop's arms. The 
late sixteenth century glass shield at Knebworth (No. 3, 
p. 149) correctly records his armorial achievement, namely, 
the arms of the See of Bangor impaling his paternal coat, 
together with that of his wife. 

Bishop Robinson uses the arins of Norris : — Çuarterìy 
arg. and gu. in the second and third guarters a fret or, 
over aìl a fess az. charged with a crescent for difference 
(this difference recording the fact that he was a second 
son), impaling Arg. tieo bars sa. irith a crescent for differ- 
ence, the arms of Brereton (a branch descended from a 
second son) ; for, as shown by the pedigree on p. 195, he 
was fourth in direct descent from Sir William Norreys of 
Speke, being the second son of John Robins, and his wife 
was Jane daughter of Randal Brereton (p. 165). 

We have here an interesting case of an English family 
of position resident in Wales, adopting the Welsh usage 
as regards its " surnames ". 

Modern books of reference, following a mistahe which 
seems to have first appeared in so respectable an authority 
as Lewys Dwnn's ' Heraldic Yisitations of Wales", 
dated about 1(516 (Vol. II, p. 13), give Bishop Robinson's 
arms as Az. a chev. between 3 sheanes of arroics arg. ; 
actually this is the shield of the Conway family of 

Notes on Arms of Bishop Nicholas Robinson. 227 

Brickdall, to which his mother belonged, she being Ellen 
daughter of William Brickdall (p. 152). Dwnn's entry is 
(juoted in a íootnote on p. 183 and fortunately it contains 
a clue to the origin of the error, as, following a somewhat 
muddled description of the Brickdall arms, assigned to 
' Nicholas Robins ", it also gives those of the See, add- 
ing that " they are 011 his tomb to-day ". The inference 
seenis to be that the memorial stone, which bore an effìgy 
or effigies together with shields and an inscription in 
brass, as recorded by Hliss's ' Athenae Oxonienses", 
which the Archdeacon quotes on p. 182, had already lost 
one or more of its shields in Dwnn's time, and that of 
those remaining one bore the maternal arms of Brickdall, 
which Dwnn assumed to have been the Bishop's own, and 
another those of the See of Bangor. If , as is likely, there 
were at least four shields, one at each corner of the slab, 
one of the missing ones would have displayed the paternal 
coat of Norris. 

Unfortunately this mistake of long standing has had a 
modern sequel, as Fig. 2 of the illustration opposite p. 149 
shows the Brickdall arms as placed in 1913 in the college 
chapel at ^Yinchester to conimemorate the bishop's son 
Hugh, who was headmaster of the college from 1613 to 

Bedford's " Blazon of Episcopacy ", as well as giving 
Bishop Robinson the Brickdall arms on the authority of 
an illustration in Samuel Drahe's edition of Archbishop 
Parker's " De Anticjuitate Britanniae Ecclesiae " (1729) 
probably derived from Dwnn, also perpetuates another 
source of confusion, as it quotes from the Hon. R. H. 
Clive's History of Ludlow, in which book there occurs 
on p. 208 a statement (quoted as ' contemporary evi- 
dence " from a MS. in the possession of John Mytton of 
Halston Hall in 1823) that among the arms and inscrip- 

228 Notes on Arms of Bishop Nicholas Robinson. 

tions which once decorated the Council Chamber of the 
Council in the Marches of Wales in Ludlow Castle there 
existed the following : — " Nych'as Robinson, 1. bishop of 
Bangor. Thys byshop died the .... daye of December, 
Anno Domini 1585. Arms, Guìes a bend gutty de poix 
between two mullets pìerced argent; impaled with quar- 
terly 1 and 4 argent a chevron between three eagles heads 
erased sable, 2 and 3 argent firc bendlets gules ". 

I have not traced any individual to whom these arms 
(which according to Papworth can only be Bewley of 
Kent quartering Talbot — assuming that they are accur- 
ately recorded) can be assigned, and it may be that in the 
course of one of the various refurbishings of the castle 1 
the boards bearing some of the 256 coats of arms may have 
been taken apart and so re-assembled that the wrong im- 
palement was set up with the bishop's name and the arms 
of his See. 

It is, however, possible to suggest another explanation 
of the muddle, more interesting and perhaps more prob- 
able ; this rests on the fact that a well known branch of 
the Norris family of Speke, which was seated at Ockwells 
in the parish of Bray, Berks, adopted the arms of Ravens- 
croft, as a result of a marriage with the heiress of the 
Ravenscrofts of Cotton. One head of this family, Sir 
John Norris, who died in 1446, married Alice Merbrooke, 
heiress of Yattendon, co. Berks, and her arms were quar- 
tered by his descendants. 2 

Now these adopted arms of liavenscroft were Arg. a 
cìur. between thrcc ravens heads erased sa. ; while the 
arms of Merbrooke were Bendy of six az. and or a 
border gu. 

1 See C. A. J. Skeel, " The Council of the Marches in Wales," 
pp. 185-187. 

2 For the pedigree see C. Kerry, " The History and Antiqmties 

of Bray," 1862. 

Notes on Arms of Bishop Nicholas Robinson. 229 

The hrass in Bwelme Church, Oxon, commemorating 
Edward Norrys who died in L529, includes a shield 011 
which his arms are represented by Norris (Ravenscroft) 
quartering Merbrooke, and this quartered shield very 
closely resembles the arms assigned to Bishop Robinson. 
The suggestion I put forward is that the heraldic agent 
who was commissioned to erect the memorial arms to 
Bishop Robinson at Ludlow, being told that he used the 
Norris arms, jumped to the conclusion that they were 
those used by the well known family of Oçkwells. The 
differences — eagles' heads instead of ravens' heads in the 
first and fourth quarters and the wrong colouring and 
absence of the border in the second and third quarters— 
could easily be explained by carelessness on the part of 
the recorder or possibly the painter of the arms. Similar 
instances of carelessness are only too familiar to the 
student of heraldrv. 


" Qttamtx>j>0 


In 1926, I published two volumes on ' Welsh Tribal 
Law and Custom in the Middle Ages ", and among other 
subjects dealt with therein was that of 'mamwys", 
which was discussed at length and explained in Yol. I, 
pp. 70, 172, 186, 187, 188, 250, 262, 394, 427, 428, 455, 
and Vol. II, pp. 291, 305, 328, 353, 363, et seq. 

The conclusion arrived at, after studying the various 
references to it, was that this " right of ' mamwys ' 
was a right acquired by a man through his mother (mam) , 
and it was pointed out, by reference to the authorities, 
how it arose, how it operated, and how it was enforced. 
The conclusion on these points was, in the main, in 
consonance with the conclusions of all who had hitherto 
studied the texts of the Welsh Laws. 

Without considering either the texts or the nature of 
the right involved in " mamwys ", the Editor of a Welsh 
periodical, who claims to be a philological 'expert", 
condemned the extensive study of " mamwys " in those 
volumes in the following words, which I venture to trans- 
late into English : — 

' ' Throughout the book, it is assumed that ' mamwys ' is 
derived from ' mam ' ; and some of the subject-matter is 
founded on this blunder. It is a mutation of ' mabwys ', that 
is ' mabwysiad ' (adoption) ". 

That is a very serious allegation to make, namely, that 
simply on a misunderstanding of a word, an explanation 
of the institution was evolved, through some sort of mis- 
placed ingenuity, which the textual authorities do not 
permit of. 

" Mamwys ". 231 

The assertion is quite untrue, for the conclusions 
arrived at were based not on the word itself, nor on any 
possible derivation of it, but on a collation of all the 
sections in the Codes and Anon. Laws dealing with the 

To make such assertions is easy ; to combat and dis- 
prove them requires a detailed array of all the facts. 

Here I propose to deal with all the references there 
are to " mamwys " in the ancient Laws, from which it 
will, I think, be perfectly clear that the conclusions 
drawn in my volumes from the texts were correct, and 
that it is the philological " expert " who has fallen into 

Let me begin by saying that, in full agreement with 
most Welsh scholars, I regard " mamwys " as a deriva- 
tive from " mam ", not on any " philological " grounds, 
but — as I have said — on the grounds that the references to 
the subject in the Laws clearly indicate that that is so. 

The word has, as I shall point out, a double implica- 
tion in the Laws, but in both cases the word itself is 
referable to " mam " and not to " mab ". It will be 
found that it is expressed in Latin sometimes as " ex 
parte matris ", and sometimes in Welsh as " o barth y 
fam", and frequently in juxtaposition with " tadwys ' 
and " tref tad ". In its principal connotation, it implies 
a right derived from a cognatic relationship through the 
mother in contradistinction to a right derived from an 
agnatic relationship through the father : in its less fre- 
quent connotation it implies a previous generation in a 
pedigree table calculated maternally in contradistinction 
to " tadwys ", a prior generation calculated paternally. 

It is, therefore, primarily a conception of relationship 
through the mother, with rights accruing from such re- 
lationship, and it has to be rendered, in modern phraseo- 

232 " Mamiuys ". 

logy, according to the context, at different times in 
different ways, exactly as the word ' cenedl ' which 
implies 'ldnship", and ' tref tat ' which implies a 
paternal relationship and rights accruing theref rom , have 
to be rendered. 

In early law we come across two things in the matter 
of descent, the one, rights acquired through the mother 
(identifiable with ' mamwys "), and the other, rights 
acquired through "adoption". 'Adoption" is, however, 
nowhere practised, so far as I am aware, save where there 
is a failure of lineal male heirs ; it is a religious or quasi- 
religious bond in its nature, and it is usually effected by 
means of a distinct ceremonial. It does not exist, as a 
legal institution conferring rights upon the " adoptee ", 
in a Christian country. It does not, and. never has, existed 
in Welsh law, and to identify " mamwys " with " mab- 
wysiad ", as a legal conception, is an error. But rights 
acquired through the mother can exist under all systems 
of law, except a strictly agnatic one, and, it may be re- 
marked, passim, that there is no evidence proving the 
existence of a society among civilised races which carries 
the ' ' agnatic ' ' basis to a f ull and complete logical con- 
clusion. In societies with an agnatic bias (and such 
societies are numerous), it is nevertheless constantly in 
evidence, either as a possible survival from an older state 
of society or as a mitigation of the rigours of the agnatic 
rule, being brought into operation by means of a legal 
fiction in many instances, in others, as a simple rule of 
law, without a legal fiction ; and as the texts, which I 
am proceeding to consider, establish, it did exist in early 
Wales. The " cognatic " conception has always struggled 
for recognition, even in the most pronounced " agnatic ' 

I have already mentioned that the word " mamwys ' 

" Mamwys". 233 

is used in the Welsh Laws with two separate implica- 
tions. I shall start with the less frequent one first. 

Now, it is remarkable that in the less frequent sense 
the word is used only in the Venedotian Code, and, in the 
main, only in the oldest MS. of that Code. This fact 
helps us to ascertain the primary philological derivation 
of the word. 

As all conversant with the Welsh Laws are aware, 
minute rules are laid down therein for the levy or distri- 
bution of " galanas " or " wergild ". Part of the levy 
was imposed on the mother-kin, part on the father-kin. 

In V.C. Bk III, c i, § 12, we have the following pass- 
age, dealing with the law of " galanas " : — 

" Pwybynnac auo llowrud galanas cubyl a dyguyd arnaw. 
Ac ual hyn y rennyr galanas. . . . Or deuparth a a ary genedyl 
y trayan ar genedyl mam y llowrud ar deuparth ar genedyl y 
tat ac y uelly y cerda yr alanas o uamwys y uamwys hyt y 
seythuet (ach neur seithuet) uamioys." 

Whoever be a murderer, the whole " galanas " falls on 
him. And the " galanas " is divided in this way. . . . Of the 
two parts which fall upon the kin, one-third upon the kin of 
the murderer's mother, and two-thirds on the kin of the 
father, and so the " galanas " proceeds from " mamwys " 
to " mamwys ", right up to the seventh ascent in the pedigree 
or the seventh " mamwys ". 

Here ' ' mamwys ' ' has to be rendered as the ' ' ascend- 
ing degree calculated maternally ", " ach " being confined 
to paternal ascent. 

In the oldest MS. of the Code (Titus D.II.) the cor- 
responding provision, § 20, is given thus : — 

"Ar deu parth a dyguyd ar e henedel. . . ac e uelly 
kemerent er hynafguyr or henedloed a dottent ar uamuys 
traean ac ar taduys deuparth ", 

which is rendered thus : — 

And two parts fall upon the kin. . . and so the oldest 
men of the kins are to take it and impose upon the mother- 
stock one-third, and upon the father-stock two-thirds. 


234 " Mamwys". 

The juxtaposition of " tadwys " with " mamwys " in 
this passage is noteworthy. 

We find the same juxtaposition in two other passages 
in this, the most ancient, MS., one of which deals with 
the distribution of the " galanas " levy among the rela- 
tives of the slain, the other with the levy of what is called 
" dispersed galanas ". In § 22, we read : — 

" E deu parth etwa ranner en try tliraean ar traean or 
deuparth hunnu aet ar henedel e uam a guedy henne hynafguyr 
e henedloed aent a thraeanhent huy trayan e uamuys a deu- 
parth y taduys ". 

And then the two parts are to be divided into three thirds, 
and one-third of the two parts shall go to the kin of the mother, 
and thereafter the oldest men of tlie kins shall go and divide 
into thirds the third of the mother-stoek and the two-thirds 
of the father-stock ; 

while in § 23 it is stated : — 

" Val hyn e rennyr galanas guasgarauc A honno 

ny rennyr na herwyd mamuys na herwyd taduys". 

Thus is dispersed " galanas " to be divided. . . . And it 
shall be divided neither according to mothei'-stock, nor accord- 
ing to father-stock, 

the mode of levy being not by stock, but by heads. 

Now if the word " adoption " or any derivate of 
" mab " be substituted in any one of these passages for 
the meaning assigned to " mamwys ", the passages will be 
utterly meaningless, with no bearing whatsoever on the 
well-known rules of levy and distribution of " galanas " : 
for it may be remarked, passim, that in no case was a 
son ever responsible for " galanas " due on account of a 
murder by his father. 

Before proceeding further we may note that this 
juxtaposition of " tadwys ' and ' mamwys " occurs in 
the Anon. Laws, in Bk X, c vii, § 20 (vide infra), and in 
Bk IX, c xxxviii, § 3, in connection with matters other 
than " galanas ". 

The latter passage runs : — 

" Mamwys ". 235 


A oes vn dyn addylyo dyrot y tir heb dadwys heb 

marmoys, heb ystyn arglwyd? Oes. . . . ", 

the quotation continuing with a subject of no import to 
the present point. This passage can be rendered thus : — 

Is there any man entitled to eome upon land without 
father-right, without mother-right, without investiture by the 
lord? There is. . . . 

Turning to the more frequent sense of ' mamwys ", 
the Welsh law provides that, in certain circumstances, a 
son was entitled to claim a share in his mother's father's 
property. Such circumstances arose when the son had no 
' tref tad ' (paternal ancestral property) to which he 
could succeed as a free man, or where he had lost any 
such " tref tad " by an act which benefited his mother's 
father's family. 

The former arose where a man (or his sons) married 
his daughter to an ' ' alltud ' (unfree foreigner) ; where 
she was violated by an ' alltud ' ' through lack of pro- 
tection from her father ; or similar cases where the father 
had not provided for his daughter, as he was expected to 
provide, a husband who was himself possessed of ' tref 
tad " which he could transmit to his and her sons. If he 
failed in his duties to his daughter, her children were 
entitled to claim a share in their mother's father's " tref 
tad " pari passu with his male lineal heirs by virtue of 
the wrong done to their mother. The latter became a 
" conduit " passing on to her son a free man's share to 
an estate in her own paternal family's property. 

That, in brief, is the law of " mamwys " ; and if the 
texts establish that position, as they do, it is clear that 
" mamwys " is a derivative from " mam ". 

We have in the Laws two important sets of refer- 
ences, the one dealing with the right itself, the other with 
the method of enforcing that right. 

r 2 

236 " Mamwys ". 

The most important references to the first set are to 
be found in the Venedotian Code. 
(i). V.C. Bk. II, c. i, § 59. 

" Oderuyt roy Camaraes yallchit a bot plant meybyon 
vthunt e plant adele treftat ouamuys, eythir na deleant ran or 
tetyn breynyaul hyd etredet dyn eythyr mab alldut o pennaet 
(a) hunu adele (e) ran ocubel (yndiannot) ; meybyon ereu graget 
(hynny) e telyr guarthee devach onadunt ac e sef acaus egeluyr 
e guarthec hene en guarthec deuaeh canyd oes kenedel (e) tat 
ae talho amen kenedel euam ". 

It is, perhaps, unfortunate for our present purpose, 
that this passage contains the phrase " guarthec devach ", 
about the meaning of which there is some difficulty ; so, 
in order to avoid entering into a complicated extraneous 
disCussion, I render the words here simply as cattle 
devach ". 

With that proviso, the passage reads : — 

If a Welshwoman be given to an " alltud " and they have 
sons, her children are entitled to " treftad " (i.e., rights in 
ancestral land) by virtue of " mamwys " (mother-right), but 
they are not entitled to share in the free homestead until the 
third generation, save the son of an " alltud " of chieftain 
rank, who is entitled to a share in everything forthwith ; the 
sons of such women are to pay cattle " devach ", and the 
reason such cattle are called " devach " is that there is no kin 
of the father to pay them, but only kin of the mother. 

Here again we get the juxtaposition of mother-kin and 
father-kin, and we have it clearly explained why a person 
is entitled to claim " mamwys ", viz., because of a wrong 
done to his mother. 

(ii). V.C. Bk. II, c. i, § 61, which contains a fuller 
list of those entitled to rights through " mamwys ". 

" Teyr graget adele eu meybyon vamuys herwyd keureyth ; 
mab Camraes arodher ealldut a mab grueyc a gusteller egluat 
aghefyet okefyf vecyckochy, ay gustellau hyteu oy kenedel ay 
argluyt a greyc edecko alldut treys (e) arney ". 

Three women whose sons are entitled to " mamwys " 
according to law ; the son of a Wolshwoman who has been given 

" Mamwys". 237 

to an " alltud " ; the son of a woman given as a hostage to a 
foreign " patria " ; if she become pregnant; and of a woman 
upon whom an " alltud " has committed violence. 

In all of these three cases, it is the wrong done to the 
woman which gives her son a claim to a retributive share 
from his mother's kin, that is, whatever claim he has 
comes through his mother. 

(iii). This provision is expanded and explained more 
fully in V.C. Bk. II, c. xv, § 1-4. 

" Herwyd gwyr Gwyned ny dyly gwreic (caffel) trew tat, 
cany dyly deu ureynt o (r) un llau sew yu hynny trewtat y 
gur ar eydy ehun a chany dyly hy (theu) trew tat ny dylyir y 
rody hytheu namyn yn (e) lle y dylyho y meybyon (hitheu 
haffael) trew tat; (ac o rodir y meibion a dyly cael mamwys.) 
Rey a dyweyt na dyly meybyon un wreic trewtat o uamwys 
namyn meybyon un wreic sew yn honno gwreyc arodho y that 
ay brodyr (yn gyfreithawl) y alldut. Ereyll a dyweyt ket 
rodho y chenedyl hy (hy y alltut) onys ryd hynny odynyon na 
dyly y meybyon (hythew) trew tat 1 (E keureyth eissyoes 
a dyweit bot teir gwraged a dyly eu meibyon treftat o uamues) 
yn onadunt yu gwreyc arodho y chenedyl yn gyureythyaul y 
alldut ; yr eil yw gwreyc adyco alldut treis y arney yn honneyt 
ac or dreys honno kael mab (o honei or alltut) y gyureyth 
adyweyt cany (or kan) colles hy y breynt na chyll y mab hytheu 
y dylyet o uamwys; trydyt yvi gwreyc arodho y chenedyl 
yguystyl (oryaeth y) alldudet ac ynyr vystlyryaeth honno kael 
mab o honey o alltud (e mab) hunnw a dyly trew tat o uamwys. 
Nyt oes un wreic ynteu a ymrodho ehun y alltud adylyo y 
meybyon uamwys ". 

According to the men of Gwynedd no woman is to have 
" tref tad " (ancestral paternal property), because there should 
not be two privileges of (or from) one hand, that is, her 
husband's " tref tad " (paternal ancestral property) and her 
own ; and since she ought not to have " tref tad ", she should 
not be given (i.e., in marriage) save where her sons may obtain 
" tref tat ", and should she be given (otherwise) her sons are 
to have " mamwys ". 

There are some who say that no sons of a woman should 
have " tref tad " through " mamwys " (mother-right), except 
the sons of one woman, and that is a woman whose father and 
brothers have given her (in a legal manner) to an alltud. 

1 The "Llyfr Teg" MS. reads "vamwys", vice " treftad". 

238 " Mafnwys". 

There are others who say that should she be given to an 
" alltud " by her kin, other than those men, her sons ought 
not to have " tref tad ". 

The law, however, says that there are three women whose 
sons should have " treftad " by virtue of " mamwys " ; one of 
them is a woman whose kin has given her, in a legal manner, 
to an " alltud " ; the second is a woman who has been 
notoriously violated by an " alltud ", and through that viola- 
tion she has had a son by the " alltud ". The law says that 
because she has not lost her status (i.e., as a freewoman) her 
son has not lost that which is due to him by virtue of 
" mamwys ". The third is a woman whose kin has given her 
as a hostage in exile, and in that state of being hostage, has 
had a son by an " alltud ", that son ought to have " tref tad " 
by virtue of " mamwys ". 

There is no woman, who has given herself to an " alltud ", 
whose sons are entitled to " mamwys ". 

This last proviso is of value, because it shows clearly 
that it is the default in duty of the woman's kin which 
makes her a " conduit " for her son to claim a share in 
her parental estate. 

This concludes the references to " mamwys " in the 
A 7 enedotian Code, with the exception of Bk. 11, c. xv, § 7, 
which, by itself, throws no particular light on the mean- 
ing of " mamwys ". It runs : — 

" No native of Powys is entitled to ' mamwys ' in 
Gwynedd, nor (one) of Gwynedd in Powys, and lihewise in 

The Dimetian Code uses the word ' ' mamwys ' ' on one 
occasion only, in Bk. III, c iii, § 26, which runs thus : — 

" A oes un lle ydylyho mab bot yn arglwyd ar ytat o 
gyureith? Oes ; or deruyd y vchehvr rodi y verch y alltut ehun, 
a bot plant meibon vdunt ; a gwedy hynny marw yr vchelwr, 
a chaffel o veibon yr alltut mamwys — o tir euhentat, yrei hynny 
avydant arglwydi areu tat ". 

Is there any circumstance whereby a son is entitled, in law, 
to be lord over his father? There is. Should an " uchelwr " 
give his daughter to his own " alltud ", and there be sons to 
them, and thereafter the " uchelwr " dies, and the sons of the 
" alltud " obtain " mamwys " out of the land of their grand- 
father, they become lords over their father. 

" Mamwys". 239 

Here we have a clear case of rights acquired through 
the mother. 

But, though this is the only passage in the Dimetian 
Code, in which the word " mamwys " is used, there are 
two passages dealing with the same facts as those quoted 
from the Venedotian C'ode, which substitute for " mam- 
wys " the words " tref y vam " or " cenedl eu mam ", 
which shows beyond question that the compilers of the 
Codal survivals identified the right of ' mamwys " with 
the " mam " and not with the " mab ". 

These two passages are : — 

(i). D.C. Bk. II, c. viii, § 21. 

" (Teir gwraged a dyly eu meibon tref eu mam,) gwreic 
arother tros y that yggwystyl a chaffel mah o lionei ynny 
gwystloryaeth, a gwreic arother orod kenedyl y alldut, a 
gwreic a lather gwr oe ehenedyl a dial oe mab (hitheu) hwnnw 
ny dylyir y oedi am tref y vam ". 

Three women whose sons are entitled to " tref eu mam " 
(their mother's tref or settlement) ; a woman given as a hostage 
for her father; a woman given by gift of kin to an " alltud " ; 
and a woman slain by a man of her kin and avenged by her 
son ; he ought not to be delayed in obtaining " tref y vam ". 

The last-mentioned cause in this quotation is very 
peculiar, and in itself raises an interesting point of law, 
which, however, this is not the place to deal with. 

(ii). D.C. Bk. II, c. xxni, § 36. 

" Or dyry ryeeni neu genedyl gwreic tlawt y alltut plant 
honno or alltut a gaffant rann otir (y) gan genedyl eu mam ac 
ny cheif vn ohonunt eistedua arbennic hyt y tryded ach ". 

Should the " parentes " or kin give a poor woman to an 
" alltud ", her children by the " alltud " are to receive a share 
of land from the mother's kin ; but none of them is to have a 
chief homestead until the third generation. 

The section then proceeds to deal with the question of 
" gwarthec devach ". 

In the Gwentian Code (Bk. II, c. xxix, § 36) this pro- 
vision is reproduced in the following terms : — 

240 " Mamwys' \ 

" O roddir Kymraes y alltut, y phlant a geiff ran o tref 
y that eithyr (yr) eissydyn arhenhic ; hwnnw hagen nys caffant 
hyt y trydeach ". 

Should a Welshwoman be given to an " alltud ", her sons 
are to get a share of the " tref " of her father, other than the 
chief homestead ; that, however, they do not get until the 
third generation. 

In the only other passage in the Gwentian Code (Bk. 
II, c. xxxix, § 1), touching on " mamwys " we get, as in 
the Dimetian Code, an identification of " mamwys " with 
" tref y vam " : — - 

" Teir gwraged ny dylyir dadleu ac eu hetiued am tref eu 
mam, y wreic arodher yg gwystyl dros tir a chaffel mab o honno 
tra uo yg gwystloryaeth, ar wreic arodher o rod henedyl y 
alltut, a mab gwreic a dialho gwr o genedyl y uam a cholli tref 
y dat o achos y gyflauan honno ny dylyir dadleu ac ef am 
tref y uam ' ' . 

Three women whose lineal heirs' claim for " tref eu mam " 
should not be contested ; the woman who is given as a hostage 
for land, and has a son while a hostage ; and the woman who is 
given by gift of kin to an " alltud ", and the son of a woman 
who has avenged a man of his mother's kin, and loses his 
father's " tref " on account of that outrage ; there should be 
no contest with him regarding his mother's " tref ". 

Cf. with this Bk. ix, c. xxx, p. 1, infra, where " o parth ev 
mam " takes the place of " tref eu mam ". 

The references to the same right in the maternal 
father's estate by virtue of " mamwys ' in the Anon. 
Laws are as follows : — 

(i). Bk. IV, c. i, § 32. 

" Oderuyt roy Kamraes y alldut mab honno a dele ran 
(braut) o tref (y) tat ". 

Should a Welshwoman be given to an " alltud ", her son 
should receive a brother's share (i.e., a share equal to the share 
of the mother's brother) of the " tref " of her father. 

(ii). Bk. V, c. ii, §§ 123, 124. 

" O deruyd dyuot alltut a gwrhau yr brenhin. . . . y 
gorwyr. . . . a vyd priodawr. . . . O deruyd y gorwyr hwnnw 
gwedy hynny rodi y verch y alltut, mab y verch honno a dyly 
mamwys gyt a phlant y gorwyr hwnnw . . . ". 

" Mantwys". 241 

Should an "alltud " come and do hornage to the king, his 
great-grandson will be a " priodawr " (i.e., having, in regard 

to land, the same status as a free-man) Should that 

great-grandson thereafter give his daughter to an " alltud ", 
the son of that " alltud " is entitled to " mamwys " along with 
the children of that great-grandson. 

(iii). Bk. X, c. vii, § 20. 

" Teir gwraged a dyly eu meibon tir o vamwys; gwreic 
vonhedic a rodher orod henedyl y alltut, a bot meibon idi o 
honaw ac ef yn alltut, y rei hynny a dyly rann o tir gyt (a) 
brodyr eu mam, eithyr hyt y bei breint . . . ymdanaw, o 
hwnnw. . . . ny dylyant dim o rann ympen y petwargwr, gan 
vot neb o bleit tadwys ae dylyo. . . . eil yw bei damweinhei vot 
morwyn ar vreint (y that ae) brodyr ae chenedyl ae threissaw 
o alltut, os mab a uei idi. . . . hwnnw a dyly rann o tir gyt a 
brodyr y vam ; trydydd yw bei damweinei rodi gwreic vonhedic 
ygwystyl y alltuded ac yno . . . a bot mab idi, hynnw a dyly 
rann o tir y gyt ae brodyr hi ; a llyna y lle y dyly plant y 
wreic hyntaf (ran), kanys y brodyr hi a alltudawd y phlant pan 
y rodyssant hi y alltut, ac wrth hynny herwyd na dylyynt rodi 
y chwaer namyn yr lle y caffei y phlant hitheu tir, y dyly y 
phlant hitheu tir o vamwys ; a llyna yr achos y dyly plant yr 
eil wreic vamwys, kanys (hyd tra) vei hi ar vreint y brodyr 
ae chenedyl, hwynt a dylyant y chadw hitheu rac pob cam, ac 
wrth gaffel o honei hi y cam hwnnw ar j hardelw hwy, y dyly 
y meibon hitheu ramwys ; a llyma yr achos y dyly plant y tryded 
wreic vamwys, canys a hi ar eu gwystloryaeth hwy y cauas hi y 
damwein hwnnw, wrth hynny y dyly y phlant hitheu vamwys ". 

Three women whose sons are entitled to land by virtue of 
" mamwys " ; a free-born woman given by gift of kin to an 
" alltud ", to whom there he sons by him and he an " alltud ", 
they are entitled to a share of land along with their mother's 
brothers, escept where there be a special status attached 
thereto, in which case they are not entitled to any share until 
the fourth generation, so long as there is anyone of " plaid 
tadwys " (i.e, of a group entitled to inheritance from a father, 
i.e., the agnatic group) who is entitled to it. . . . The second 
is, should it happen that there be a maid on the privilege of 
her father and her brothers and her kin, and she be violated 
by an " alltud ", and should there be a son to her, he is 
entitled to a share of land along with his mother's brothers. 
The third is, should it happen that a freeborn woman be given 
as a hostage in exile and there . . . there should be a son to 
her, he is entitled to a share of land along with her brothers. 
And behold, why the children of the first woman are entitled 
to a share, because her brothers made " alltuds " of her 

242 " Mamwys ". 

children, when they gave her to an " alltnd ", and hence, 
because they ought not to have given their sister except where 
her children would have had land, her children are entitled 
to land by virtue of " mamwys ". And behold the cause the 
children of the second woman are entitled to " mamwys ", 
because, so long as she was on the privilege of her brothers 
and her kin, they were bound to keep her from all ill, and 
hecause she suffered that ill while under their protection, her 
sons are entitled to " mamwys ". And behold the reason why 
the children of the third woman are entitled to " mamwys ", 
because she endured that happening while she was a hostage 
for them, therefore are her children entitled to " niamwys ". 

Anything more explicit than this it is difficult to con- 
ceive ; and here we once more get it clearly ttated thai 
the right of children to ' ' mamwys ' ' springs f rom wrong 
done to their mother. It is not a right inherent in them- 

(iv). Book XIV. 

Excluding for the present references to the mode of 
enforcing the right of " mamwys ", the references to 
" mamwys " in the XIVth Book are brief, but they are 

Book XIV, c. iii, § 15, says : — 

" Tri meib ni cheiff y tyddyn breinyawl . . . mab gwreic 
a gaffo tir o famwys ". 

Three sons who do not get the free homestead . . . the 
son of a woman who gets land by virtue of " mamwys ". 

c. xvii, § 2, reads : — 

" Tri char o ìmrth mam a ran tir ac eu car . . chefynderw 
. . . lle caffo dir o famwys ". 

Three relatives on the mother's side who share land with 
their relations . . . a nephew . . . where he has got land by 
virtue of " mamwys ". 

c. xvii, § 4, reads : — 

" Tri mal) a ddjly tir nys <l\ lyei y dat cyn noc ef . . . mab 
a gaffo mamwys ". 

Three sons who are entitled to land which their father 
before was not entitled to . . . a son who gets " niamwys ". 

" Mamwys". 243 

c. xxxi, § 1, reads : — 

" Mab a gaffo tir o famwys ny ddyly cf yr essyddyn 
pennaf ". 

A son . . . who gets land by virtue of " maniwys " is not 
entitled to the principal homestead. 

In these four extraets, " mamwys " must be rendered 
" niother-right ". 

The XIIIth Book, as is well known, is no authority 
in itself on matters of ancient Welsh law. It does, how- 
ever, occasionally reproduce points of law found in the 
more ancient sources, and it is often of value in clearing 
up obscurities of language. It is necessary, therefore, to 
consider the references therein to " mamwys ". These 
references are in complete agreement with the ancient 
sources, except that, sometimes, the word " aillt " is used 
as synonymous with, and substituted for, " alltud ", a 
matter of no importance to the present point. The refer- 
ences are : — 

(i). c. ii, § 115. 

" Tri rhyw wr y sydd . . . mab aillt mamwysawl, sev a vo 
ei vam yn Gymraes . . . ac eillion yn mraint mamwys a'u 
gelwir y c.wryw . . . ac y saiv braint brodwr . . . ar aillt 
o vamwys cynnwynawl ". 

There are three classes of men . . an " aillt " liaving 
mothcr-right, that is one whose mother was a AYel^hwoman . . 
and such are called " aillts " with the privilege of " mamwys " 
. . . and the status of a native rests . . . on an " aillt " by 
virtue of native mother-descent. 

(11). c. ìi. § 116. 

" Tair gwraig y dylai eu meibion ramicys herwydd 
c.wraith ; mab gwraig a rother i alltud o vodd ei chenedl ; mab 
gwraig a wystler yn ngwlad angh.wiaith, o beichioger hi yno. 
gan ei gwystlaw o'i chenedyl a'i harglwydd ; a gwraig y dyco 
alltud drais erni ; se y dylit i veibion y gwragedd hyny drev 
eu mamaii ac nis dylit ei oedi . . . drev ei ram i un o'r 
meibion hyny ". 

Three women whose sons are entitled to " mamwys " 
according to law ; the sou of a woman given to an " alltud " 

244 " Mamwys". 

with consent of her kin ; the son of a woman given as hostage 
in an alien land, should she become pregnant there, because 
she was made a hostage by her kin and her lord ; and a 
woman upon whom an " alltud " commits violence ; that is, 
the " tref " of their mother is due to the sons of these women, 
and the " tref " of his mother should not be withheld from 
any one of these sons. 

(Üi). C. Ü, § 131. 

Tri chyfredin cenedl . . . mab gwraig a rother o vodd 
cenedl i estron, sev y cafant . . . eu trwydded o ereidr y 
genedl . . . a'r mab yn mraint mamwys ". 

Three common to a kin . . . the son of a woman given 
with consent of kin to a stranger . . . that is, they get their 
fare from the ploughs of the kin . . . to the son under the 
privilege of " mamwys ". 

(iv). c. ii, § 142. 

" Tri rhydd cenedl a'i heillion yn mraint mamwys ". 
Three things free to a kin and their " aillts " on the 
privilege of " mamwys ". 

(v). c. ii, § 215. 

" I vab aillt yn mraint mamwys y bydd cyviawn nawdd 
pencenedl ". 

To an " aillt " on the privilege of " mamwys " there is 
the just protection of the chief of kin. 

(vi). c. ii, § 224. 

" Bedrorion alltudion yn mraint mamwys ". 
" Alltuds " in the fourth degree with the status of 
" mamwys ". 

(vii). c. ii, § 229. 

" Veibion eillion cyn braint o vamwys ". 

" Aillts " before (obtaining) status through " mamwys ". 

The Leges Wallice, being in Latin, do not use the 
word "mamwys", but where the institution is referred 
to they render it as " ex parte matris ' ' . 

(i). L.W. Lib. II, c. xi, § 29. 

Nemo debet habcre principalem sedem ex parte matris 
. . . nec dignitatem aliquam . . . si sit ex parte patris qui 

" Mamwys". 245 

debeat habere, licet aliqua pars terre ei concedatur ex parte 
matris; sed tameu dignius est quod aliquis ex parte matris 
liabet ea quam aliquis alienus. 

§ 31. Sciendum est quod si femina quedam prebeat sese 
uiro absque licencia gentis sue, non oportet quod proles eius 
habet partem hereditatis cum gente materna, nisi eorum 
gratia. . . . 

§ 32. Si mulier indigena detur exuli, filii eius partem 
hereditatis habebunt, preter sedem principalem . . . . , 

and then follows the same provision as in the Welsh texts 
regarding " gwarthec dyuach ". 

(ii). In the B.M. Vespasian E.XI. MS. we have the 
following provisions (Lib. II, c. xxiii, §§ 38, 39) : — 

" Si qua mulier absque parentele sue consilio se copulav- 
erit, et ex eo prolem deduxerit, proles illa cum gente materna, 
nisi eorum gratia, partem hereditatis non capiat. Si mulierem 
indigenam cuidam alltut (exuli) parentes sui conjugem 
dederint, fìlii ex eis procreati cum gente materna partem 
capient hereditatis ; nullus tamen eorum sedem habebit 
principalem " ; 

and § 50 : — 

" Tres sunt femine que hereditatem matrum possunt 
habere ; prima est illa que in pignore sit pro terra, et filium 
habeat dum sit pignus ; ille filius debet habere hereditatem 
matris sue ; secunda est illa que data sit a genere homini 
hereditatem non habenti, filius talis debet habere hereditatem 
sue matris ; tercia est illa cujus filius amittet hereditatem 
suam, scilicet ex parte patris, pro ultione cognati sue matris ". 

The identification in the earliest Latin texts of 
raamwys ' with mother-right (ex parte matris) is so 
explicit that it is difficult to understand how anyone 
could be led to imagine that ' ' mamwys " = " mabwys ' 
= ' ' adoption ' ' . 

The references to the suit of " mamwys," that is the 
method of enforcing the rights of ' mamwys ", cor- 
roborate the other authorities. It is not mentioned, as a 
suit, in the Codes ; but we find it mentioned, without 
further explanation of its character, in Anon. Laws, Bk. 
VII, c. i, § 9, Bk. IX, c. xxv, § 4, and Bk. XIII, c. ii, 

246 " Mamwys". 

§ 211, and, in addition, we have three fairly detailed 
accounts of procedure. 

(i). Bk. VII, c. i, § 24, 25. 

" Oderuyd y den holy tyr a dayar o uamwys deuet ar e tyr 
(ar dayar) en amser y bo agoret kyfreyth, a dywedyt y uot 
(ef) en uab y alltut o kymraes dyledauc ; a dywedet ry rodi 
y uam ef oy chenedyl en kyureythaul yu tat ef, ac alltudau 
enteu . . . 'ac urth henne e dodaf uy ar e hyfreyth can 
alltudassant huy uyuy, deleu o hanaf uynheu deuot en tref 
tadauc attadunt lmynteu ". 

The pleadings are then detailed, and the possible de- 
fences indicated, including the following : — 

" O deruyd e den holy tyr a dayar o uamwys a dyweduyt 
ry rody e uam ef en keureythyaul yu tat ef a bot y tat enteu 
en alltut ac enteu en mennu tref tat . . . ac yna ateb or 
amdyffynnur . . . 'Ef a holes mamwys eysyoes ene lle ar lle 
ac enteu ay cauas hy' . . . Onys guata . . . dyuarner en 
tragywydaul o uamwys " . 

Should a person claim land and soil by virtue of 
" mamwys ", let him come on the land and soil at a time 
when law is open, and let him say that he Ls the son of an 
" alltud " by a free-born Welsh woman, and let him say that 
his mother was given, in a legal manner, to his father, and 
he himself was made an " alltud " . . . and because of that, 
I place myself upon the law, since they have made me an 
" alltud ", I am entitled to come upon their " tref tadauc " 
among them. 

Should a person claim land and soil by virtue of 
" mamwys ", and say that his mother was given, in a legal 
manner, to his father, and that his father was an " alltud ", 
and he claim " tref tat "... and thereupon the defendant 
should answer . . . " He has claimed ' mamwys ' already in 
such and such a place, and has obtained it' . . . If he do 
not deny (this defence), let judgment be given excluding him 
for ever from " mamwys ". 

Here we have it clearly pointed out again fchat the 
right to " mamwys " depends upon the marriage of the 
claimant's mother to an " alltud ". 

(ii). Bk. IX, c. xxx, §§ 1-15. 

Val hyn y dyleyr lioli mamwys. 

§ 1. Tair merchet nydyleir datley ay etyveth am tir 

" Mamwys". 247 

parth ev mam ; (mab) gwraic vonedyc a rodo henedyl y alltut ; 
a mab gwraic a roder y gwjstyl dros genedl a ehael o honay 
yn y gwstyl mab ; a mab a dyalo gwr o genedyl y vam a cholli 
tref y tat o achosygyfflavan hono. 

§ 2. O myn mab gwrayc a rather y alltut holy mamws 
val hyn y dyly . . . erchy . . . yewn. . . . 

§ 3. Yna y dyly y arglwyd dyvynv y genedl y attep ydaw, 
nyt amgen brodyr y vam . . . kanys y ray hyny adyly vot 
yn rodyayt arnay panys ar y tir wynt y daw mab ev kares 
os rodant y alltvt. Kanys . . . ny ayll vn dyn ellwng neb y 
vamwys na trefftatv neb . . . heb dvhvtep (ynteu). . . . 

§ 5. (After binding of parties.). Dyly yr howlor menegy 
y vot ef yn vab y alltut o Gymraes vonhedic . . . a henwet 
y gwr ay genedl rody y vam (ef) y alltvt . . . ay alldvdo 
ynteu o tref y tat . . . 'ac ar y gyffraith y dodaf kan 
alldvdasscch chwy vy vi o tref tat y dylyaf vynev tir o parth 
vy mam. 

§ 6. ... O fyna y braw ynteu ran a gaiff or (tir) gymyn 
ac vn o vrodyr y vam. . . . 

§ 8. Os yramdiffynor a dywait tref tat ysyd y ty yn 
y lle ar lle . . . ar y hyfreith y dodaf no dyly tref tadawc 
ctt 111 iri/s. 

§ 13. O myn mab gwraic a wystyler holy mamtoys val 
hyn y dyly val y dywetbwyt uchot. . . . Yna y dyly y man 
menegy pwy y gwr hwnw ay genedl . . . y vam ef y gwystyl 
drostvnt hwy yn anyledus, ac yn yrarwystyleyrieth hono dwyn 
trais o alltvt arnay ay gael ef or drais hono . . . 'ac ar y 
kyfreith y dodaf kan rodassach chwi vy mam y drossoch yn 
lle ny alloch ychadw rac trais y dylyaf vyneu ran o tir y 
genwch chwi. 

§ 15 Offyna ybraw ran a gayff. 

In this manner " mamwys " is to be claimed : 

§ 1. Three girls with whose issue there ought not to be 
any contest regarding land (claimed) through their mother ; 
the son of a freewoman, given by her kin to an " alltud " ; 
and the son of a woman given as hostage on behalf of a kin, 
a son being had of her while a hostage ; and a son who avenges 
a man of his mother's kin and loses (his own) " tref tad " 
because of that outrage. 

§ 2. Should the son of a woman given to an " alltud " 
demand " mamwys ", thus should he do . . . demand . . . 
right. . . . 

§ 3. Then the lord should summon the kin to answer him, 
that is, his mother's brothers . . . since they should have 
been the givers away of her, and since it is upon their land 
the son of their kinswoman will come, if they have given her 

248 " Mamwys" '. 

to an " alltud "... for no one can admit a person to 
" mamwys ", nor give anyone " tref tat "... without 
their consent. 

§ 5. (After binding of parties.) The plaintiff ought to 
declare that he is the son of an "alltud " by a free-born 
Welshwoman . . . and name the man and kin who gave his 
motlier to an " alltud "... and made him an " alltud " 
from " tref tad " (i.e., deprived him of the chance of a 
paternal inheritance). ... " and I place myself upon the 
law, since you have made an ' alltud ' of me from ' tref tad ', 
I am entitled to obtain land through my mother". 

§ 6. Should he have proof, he shall have a share of the 
land equal to that of one of his mother's brothens. 

§ 8. Should the defendant say, " You have had ' tref 
tat ' (i.e., a paternal inheritance) in such and such a place 
. . . and I place myself upon the law that one with 'tref tad ' 
is not entitled to ' mamwys ' ". 

§ 13. If the son of a woman given as a hostage demand 
" mamwys " he ought to do as has been stated above. . . . 
Thereupon the son ought to declare who that man and kin 
is . . . who gave her unlawfully as a hostage on their behalf, 
and while a hostage that she suffered violation from an 
" alltud ", and through that violation she had a son ..." and 
I place myself upon the law, since you gave my mother on your 
behalf in a place where you could not guard her from 
violation, I am entitled to obtain a share of land from you ". 

§ 15. . . Should he prove it, he is entitled to a share. . . 

I would draw attention to the double identifieation in 
these passages of ' ' mamwys ' ' with ' ' o parth vy mam ' ' 
— " ex parte matris ' ' . 

(iii). Bk. XIV, c. xlvi, § 1 et seq. 

Am Vamwys. 

§ 1. O derfydd y ddyn holi tir o famwys, a dywedut 
dwyn ar y fam dreis o alltut, a hi yn gwystyl dros un oe 
chenedyl, a holi y tir o famwys or ffordd honno. . . . (the 
law provides that proof of violence must be by compurgation). 

§ 5. . . . Nyt rheit atferwyr y dyngu hanfot dyn o 
famwys canys ehun ae praw. 

§ 6. . . . Eill neb wadu y gilydd or a ddylo tref tat neu 
famwys gyt ac ef. . . . 

§ 8. O derfydd y ddyn holi tir o famioys a dywedut o 
honaw ladd o honaw gelain yn dial gwr o genedyl y fam, a 
mynet y dir ynteu yn waetir. . . " Can dieleis i gar fy mam 
y dylaf inneu ddyfot attoch yn dref tadawc am hynny ". 

" Mamwys' '. 249 

§ 11. Mal hynn y may am famwys, y holi yn gyfreithyawl 
. . . ar arglwydd a ddyly dyfynnu . . . brodyr y fam . . . 
a hwnnw addyly gwneuthur cyfreith'. 

Concerning " Mamwys ". 

§ 1. Should a person seek land by virtue of " mamwys ", 
and say that his mother suffered yiolation by an " alltud ", 
while she was a hostage on behalf of her kin, and he seek 
his land by yirtue of " mamwys " in that method . . . (the 
law provides that proof of violation must be by compurga- 

§ 5. There is no need for " finders " (that is, a kind of 
preliminary jury) to swear that a man comes into existence 
from •" mamwys " (here the word means simply mother- 
origin), for he himself proves it (i.e., the very fact that he 
exists shows he had a mother ; a very strihing side-light on 
the connotation of " mamwys "). 

§ 6. . . . No one can deny another who is entitled to 
" tref tat " or " mamwys " with him. (The quotation shows 
again the juxtaposition of " tref tat " and " mamwys ".) 

§ 8. Should a person claim land by virtue of "mamwys ", 
and say that he slew and made a corpse in revenge for a 
man of his mother's kin, and his own land has gone as 
" waed-tir " (i.e., as blood-land, land given in payment of 
" galanas " or " wergild ") . . . " since I avenged my 
mother's relation, I am entitled to come to you for ' treftad ' 
(ancestral inheritance), therefor ... ". 

§ 11. Thus it is in regard to " mamwys ", to claim law- 
fully . . . and the lord ought to summon . . . his mother's 
brothcrs . . . and such ought to do law . . . ". 

The only other reference to " mamwys " I have been 
able to trace in the Laws is in Bk. IX, c. xxxvi, § 8 : — 

1 ' Dav lle y dychon alltut ymryddhav drwy rannv .... 
ae arglwyd . . . pan el yw vamwys ". 

There are two circumstances wherein an " alltud " may 
free himself, by sharing . . . with his lord . . . when he 
acquires " mamwys ". 

This passage, in itself, throws no additional light on 
the matter. 

I have given in full the references there are in the 
Laws to " mamwys " ; and it seems clear and beyond 
question that, throughout, the significance of the word 
lies in its root " mam ". If the root " mab " be substi- 


250 "Maniwys". 

tuted for ' ' mam ' ' , then not a single quotation has the 
slightest meaning or legal relevancy attachable to it. 

The philological derivation of " mamwys " is, in itself, 
of no importance whatsoever ; that which is of import- 
ance is to understand the very interesting institution of 
' mamwys " in ancient Welsh society. That understand- 
ing can come not from a pre-conceived assumption as to 
its verbal derivation, but from a study of what the texts 
assert it was. Once that is understood its derivation, 
which is a secondary matter altogether, becomes apparent. 
I venture to reassert that the explanation of that insti- 
tution, as given in " Welsh Tribal Law ", is fully borne 
out by the texts, 011 which, indeed, it was entirely based. 
At any rate, that explanation was not due to any misin- 
terpretation of the philological derivation of " mamwys ". 
That word, as used in the Laws, is unquestionably a 
derivative from ' mam ". Every commentator of old, 
whether writing in Welsh or Latin, held that view, and 
they were cognizant of the working and the meaning of 
the institution which they were describing. The sugges- 
tion, or rather vehement assertion, that it is a derivative 
of " mab " is without any warrant in the Codal texts. 

tU " (MaBtnogíôn ' V 

By Professor J. LLOYD-JONES, M.A., Dublin. 

These two volumes have been beautifully produced, 
like all works printed at the University Press, Oxford, and 
there is, both in the rendered text and the notes, much 
that is commendable. It is much to be regretted how- 
ever that the excellence of the printers' work and the 
enormous labour of the translators should have been 
marred by so many inaccuracies in the translation. The 
translators admit in their preface that there have been 
and are Welsh scholars far better equipped than they are 
to undertake the work, but that in the absence of any 
sign of the task being undertalcen by any of them, a 
steadily growing desire,in scholastic and scholarly circles, 
for a version more accurate in details than Lady Guest's 
work of ninety years ago, has induced them to attempt to 
supply this need. In defence of Welsh scholars it may 
be stated that they have been conscious of the difficulties 
of the task, have been aware that so many points of 
language remain to be elucidated, that any translation 
claiming to be at all accurate was out of the question. 

This new translation was not intended for dilettanti — 
the old translation was good enough for such — but for 
scholars, and for this reason it should be as accurate as it 
was humanly possible so to make it, and as faithful 

1 The Mabinoyion. A new translation by T. P. Ellis, M.A , and 
John Lloyd, M.A. Two volumes. Oxford, at the Clarendon Press, 

S 2 

252 The " Mabinogion" '. 

to tlie original as the genius of the English language 
permitted. It ought to be at least a trustworthy repre- 
sentation of the present state of our knowleclge of the 
meaning of the language of the ancient texts. 

Sotne readers ìnay possibly think that many of the 
errors indicated below are too insignifîcant to deserve 
notice, but one who has been engaged for many years in 
explaining the difficulties of Medieval Welsh prose to 
foreign students, may be pardoned for condemning even 
such minor inaccuracies as mistaking y " his" t'or y "to", 
and rendering ohonaw by " thereon " when it is really the 
idiomatic expression of the agent with the verb-noun. 
Furthermore, I hold that the conversational second person 
singular of the Welsh texts should have been preserved 
throughout, and that in address unben(n) " chieftain " is 
hardly translatable by the English " sir " in spite of the 
latter's developtnent frotn sire. E.g., on p. 6, 5-6, " Sir ", 
said he, " I know who you are, and I greet you not" is to 
me most incongruous. " Chieftain ", said he, "I know 
who thou art, and 1 greet thee not " would be in far 
greater harmony with the age of the redaction, not to 
speak of any retnoter period. 

Some idea of the inexactitude of the translation may 
be obtained from the following corrections, a list by no 
means exhaustive, in the first twelve pages. 

p. 4, 9-10, to let loose the dogs in the wood to to set 
(release) his dogs under the trees ; 10, the horn to his hom; 
13, listening for to listening to ; p. 5, 1, it ivas not the same 
cry to they had not the same cry (lit. they were not of the 
same cry) ; 8-9, without pausing to without thinJcing 
(minding) ; 9-10, and of all the hounds he had seen in the 
world to and of what he had seen ofthe world's hounds ; 1 1, as 

these to as them; 12-13, whiteness redness to extreme 

whiteness extreme redness (n.b. how tywyllet is cor- 

The " Mabinogion ". 253 

rectly translated "extreme dartness", p. 35, 11) ; p. 6, 1-2, 
hanging from Jiis neck to about his nech (rendered correctly 
p. 25, 3) ; 2-3, dressed in hunting clothes of grey woollen to 
and a dress of greyish cloth upon him for a Ji unting-dress ; 1 2- 
13, I never saw greater discourtesy in man to I have not seen 
greater discourtesy in {any) man ; p. 7, 7 and subsequentlyj 
Annwn to Annwfn ; 10, the man to a man ; 12, by ridding 
me of that oppression to by remoring that man's oppression 
from (upon) me (cf. p. 10, 2, where to free him of inay be 
hnproved to to remove from (or tahe off) him, and p. 20, 20, 
where threw bach may be iinproved to removed) ; 8. 3-4, 
that I myself am not you to that it is (lit. be) not I that thou 
art (lit. be) ; 10-11, and one strohe tìiat you give Jiim, Jie 
sJiall not survive to and do tJwu give Jiim one bloiv. He will 

not survive it; 13-1-4, I gave Jiim one, nevertJieless to 

despite wJutt I gave Jiim . . . . ; p. 9, 1, tliat you yourself are 
not I to tJiat it is (lit. be) not tJiou tJiat I am ; 2-3, will I go 
yonder to and I will proceed; 8-9, wJio will not recognise 
you as me to wJio will not lcnow tJiee; p. 10, 5-6, tìie retinue 
tJie most comely and tJie best egnipped to and the fairest and 
best-equipped multitude; p. 11, 3, and tJiey occupied tJiem- 
selves witJi to and tJiey consumed (enjoyed) ; 11, morning to 
the morrow as in the next line ; p. 12, 2, tJie dominions to 
Jiis dominions; 6, botìi are claimants against tJie otJier to 
eacJi of tJiem is a claimant against (lit. on) the otJier ; 10-11, 
and at tJie first tJirust to and at tìie first onset; 14-16, and 
(so tJiat) Hafgan was bome to ground, an arm , s and a spear's 
lengtJi ouer Jùs Jiorse's crupper, and Jie receẁed a mortal 
wound to and (so that) Hafgan was (borne) tJie lengiJi of Jiis 
arm and spear over Jiis ìiorse's crupper to tJie ground, 
mortally wounded (lit. and a mortal wound in him) ; p. 13, 
2-3, i" may yet repent to / may be sorry for ; 5, DeatJi is my 
destiny (f'.n. it is tJie appointed Death to me) to Death is 
fixed for me ; 6-7, my condition is such tJiat I can support 

254 The " Mabìnogion ". 

you no more to there is no way for me to support you any 
more; 11 and 12, those who to him who ; 13, them to him; 
14, /í-e receẁed to Ae foo& (accepted) ; 15, /o ía&e possession 
of to ío subdue ; 22, omit ío me and for whereof I have 
heard read I have heard (of) it; p. 14, 7, í/iey felt no more 
novelty at his corning to aná /m coming ivas no more strange 
to them; 15, she meditated on it to and that (was) what she 
thought ; 20, / have not spohen so much as this to that whose 
egual I have not spohen; 25, after said she, supply if, and 
in 1. 27 for neither .... nor read either . . . . or ; p. 15, 2, 
not to speah. of anything else to much less what were more 
than that; 3, on that to and then; 3-4, I have found a man 
whose friendship ivas firm and faithful to a man whose 
friendship was strong and true have I found as a friend ; 
9, By God to whom T confess to I confess to God (lit. it is 
to God that I confess) ; 10-11, in respect of war, in tempta- 
tions of the body, and in Tceeping faith with you tofor having 
withstood the temptations of his body and hept faith with 
thee; 15, Then to and he; 17, the land to his dominion, 
and omit lihe; 24-25, delete " after you and emend what 
follows to read thus, and this is the story (of) how it has 
been", and Pwyll related it; p. 16, 2-3, I hope to an we 
hnow it (" ot gwnn' : being- stereotyped for the plural 
also) ; 12-13, he ceased to bear the name of Pwyll, Prince of 

Dyfed, and was called to his (own) appellation 

ceased for (lit. failed to) Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed, and he 
was called 

It will be apparent to everyone that neither time nor 
space will permit any such dehiiled emendation of the 
whole of the tales, but the following- are very necessary 
corrections in the remainder of the first tale : 

p. 32, 19-21. Read and let us lay the destruction of the 
boy against (lit. upon) her ; and there will be no disputing 
(with) us six against her alone. 

The " Mabinogion" . 255 

p. 34, 20-21. Read 'Wife', saicl Teirnon, 'foolish are 
we every year to let our mare be in foal without securing one 
of them '. 

p. 35, 28-36, 2. Read I would bring women (to be) with 
me, and luould say that I were pregnant. 

p. 37, 19. For he was at îeisure with his wife, read ìie 
found his wife in high spirits. 

p. 39, 4-5. Read and how they, Teirnon ancl his wife, 
had claimed the boy. 

p. 39, 16. For icell becomes, read best becomes. 

p. 39, 17-18. Read ' whether Jiis own name may not 
become him better'. 

p. 39, 18-19. For What name has he? read Where is 
the name ? 

p. 40, 1-2. Read c That is the most proper', said Pwyll, 
' to tahe the boifs name from ' 

One turns iiistinctively to well-known pit-falls, and 
finds that tliey are not successfully rendered in tbis 
translation. E.g. hyt nat oed un mwyn(y)ant a ellit 
honunt (R.B. 29, 6) is not quite " till there was 110 
advantage or power in them " ; rather is it "till there 
was no use that could be made of (lit. with) them ". Cf. 
ny ellir mwynyant a hi (R.B. 124, 14) " 110 use can be made 
of it", and rendered " 110 profit can be got f rom it " (p. 
207, 20); and ny mwynhaa (R.B. 133, 12) "it will avail 
not ", or " it will not be effective ", and correctly rendered 
" it also will be of no avail " (p. 220, 9). 

Yn y vlwydyn y heueis yn dìwarauun wynt (R.B. 32, 
13-14) cannot mean " and for a year I kept them ungrudg- 
ingly", but rather " and during the year I found them 
unobjectionable ". 

a(n)ghynnwys (R.B. 32, 16) is not " unkeepable ", but 
" unwelcome ". 

2 s6 The " Mabinoçion ' 


ae tharaw gantaiu allan (R.B. 33, 5) means " and thrust 
it out with liim ", rafcher than "and broke out through 
them ", pleit being of course a singular noun. 

a clyscu ieith icli (R..B. 34, 18) does not necessarily im- 
ply that the bird was taught " to speak ", but " language, 
speech ", i.e., to understand speech. As far as can be 
gathered from the context, there was no occasion for it 
" to speak ", only to comprehend what was spoken to it, 
and if it had been taught "to speak ", there would have 
been no occasion for the letter. 

Nyt oeâ anesmiuythach nac adnàbot o vn ar y gîlyd y uot 
yn hynny o amser no phan doethant yno (R..B. 42, 7-9) can- 
not mean " Recognition of one by the other was not more 
painful than when they came there ". It can only mean 
either " It was not more unpleasant than that one saw by 
the other that it was that tiine (i.e., that that time 
had passed) than when they came there ", or " It was not 

more unpleasant, nor did one see by the other ". 

Possibly the former; it is but natural to suppose that 
time, although they were oblivious to its passing, did 
alter their appearance. 

Ny hand(en)ei dim am danei (R.B. 85, 22) is translated 
" he could not rest at all because of her " (p. 140, 22). I 
am quite sure from the context here, and other instances 
of this verb, that the meaning is " he could think of 
nothing because of her ". 

It will be readily admitted by all Welsh students that 
the major portion of Rulhiuch is the most diíhcult of all 
the so-called Mabinogion. There is much in it that we 
can only guess the meaning of, but our comprehension of 
it is far greater than might be gathered from tlie many 
errors perpetrated in this translation. The following cor- 
rections are but few of the emendations necessary in the 
fìrst few pages of the tale. 

The " Mabinogion " . 257 

aeth. hitheu yg gwylltawc heb dygredu anhed (R.B. 100, 
6-7) is wrongly interpreted " she roamed about madly, 
without trusting any dwelling" (170, 7-8). The form 
precludes the meaning "madly", and even translating 
" she went mad ". Rather does it mean "to the wilds", 
and from some other examples of dygredu, one is inclined 
to render the last phrase " without frequenting (visiting) 
any habitation ". 

hennattau y mab a orucpwyt, a dyuot ac ef yr ìlys (R.B. 

101, 27-28) is rendered very loosely "He sent messengers 
for his son ; and they came with him to the court". Bet- 
ter were "the boy was sent for, and brought to the 
court ". 

hyuelin dogyn gwr drwm (W.B. drum) hyt awch (R.B. 

102, 16-17). In spite of its difficulty, one may be quite 
sure that this passage does not mean " as thick as the arm 
of a very heavy man up to tlie edge" (173, 10-11). The 
W.B. form drum makes it fairly certain that the latter 
portion is to be interpreted " from back to edge ", and I 
am inclined to understaud hyuelin dogyn givr as "the 
measure of a man's forearm ". 

Pedeir tywarchen a ladei bed.war cara y gorwyd (R.B. 
102, 27-28), not " The four sods of turf which the four 
hoofs of his steed cut", but " The four hoofs of the steed 
(would) cut four sods ". 

Ny chrymei vlaen blewyn y danaw (R.B. 103, 3-4) does 
not quite mean " a blade of grass bent not beneath him ", 
but, much more forcibly, " the tip of a blade of grass did 
not bend beneath him ", and even "a blade of grass " is 
not certain. It might equally well be interpreted "a 
hair". At all events, reference should have been made 
to the variant reading of W.B., ny cìiwynei vlaen bleioyn 
amaw, which might be interpreted " not the tip of a hair 
complained of him (or upon it) ". 

258 The " Mabinogion" . 

rac yscawnet tuth y gorwyd (E.B. 103, 4) has been very 
loosely rendered " by reason of the lightness of the touch 
of the steed ". Eead rather " by reason of the very light 
trot of the steed ". 

a thitheu ny bo teu dy benn byrr y (W.B. py ry) Jcyuerchy 
di (E.B. 103, 6-7) has been translated " and you, whose 
tongue is not silent, why do you aecost me?", ignoring 
the subjunctive character of bo and interpreting teu 
" thy " as an impossible adjective froin the stem of tawaf. 
This first portion most assuredly means " and thou, may 
not thy head be thine (i.e., may it be cut off) ", and while 
admitting that the remainder might conceivably mean 
"whyhast thou accosted (me)?", Iam inclined to treat 
py as the oblique relative and to translate " by reason (of 
the manner that) thou hast addressed ". 

nyt wrthnef. nyt wriìi dayar (E.B. 103, 11) cannot by 
any manner of means be interpreted " not upon the sky 
nor upon the earth " (174, 21-22). It is probably "not 
(pointing) to the sky or to the earth ", and ual maen 
treigyl (174, 22) were better rendered " like a rolling 
stone " than " like a stone rolling ". Similarly ar lawr 
llys, not "011 the floor of the court ", but "on the fìoor of 
a court ". 

Ryllell a edyw ym bwyt a llynn ym bual, ac amsathyr 
ueuad arthur, namyn mab brenhin gwlat teithiawc, neu y 
gerdawr a dycJco y gerd, ny atter y mywn, llith yth gwn ac 
[yt] yth ueirch .... (E.B. 103, 13-17) is translated (174, 
24-175, 3) "The lcnife is in the food, and the drink in the 
horn, and a throng in Arthur's court. Save the son of a 
King of a worthy land or a musician, who brings his art, 
none may enter. Food for your dogs and wheat for your 

horses ", and the inexactitude of the rendering 

may be gathered from the following more or less literal 
translation : " A knife has gone into food, and drink into 

The " Mabinogion". 259 

horn, and thronged is Arthur's court ; save the (fully) en- 
dowed son of a country's king or a craftsman who brings 
(oí' plies) his craft, none will be allowed in. Mash for thy 

dogs, and corn for thy steeds ". To interpret 

teithiawc with gwlat, cerdawr and cerd as " musician " and 
" art ", and y't (W.~B.yd) as " wheat ", are unpardonable 

Ymchoelawd (leg, ymchoeîawt?) eu kallonev yn wrth(t)rwm 
heint (R.B. 104, 5; heint not in W.B., and with gwrthtrwm 
cf. diwrth[t]rwm R.B. 267, 12) has been translated " and 
the hearts of those (who are not pregnant) shall be turned 
into grievous plight ", instead of "and those who are not 
pregnant, their wombs will be grievous(ly) disease(d) for 
them ". 

Àr sawl a edrych y goleu, ac a egyr y lygat, ac ae kae 
anghengaeth idaiu. A gwassanaethet rei vuelin (W.B. a 

buelin) goreureit hyt pan vo parawt (W.B. goranhed) 

bwyt a llyn idaw is thus rendered (177, 7-11), " And let 
those that look upon the light, and open and shut the eye, 
be in extreine bondage to him, and serve him, some with 

srolden drinkmg horns till food and drink shall 

be ready for him ". It will be noticed that the goranhed of 
W.B. is ignored entirely. This word is probably related 
to the stein of maran(h)ed "provisions, supplies ", and 
means " plentiful ". The footnote on bondage is as fol- 
lows : " ' anghengaeth ', bondage. Anwyl renders the 
bondage as blindness ". Neither makes any sense. I 
suggest the following translation : "and whoever (lît. the 
one who) looks upon the light, and opens his eye and shuts 
it, (let there be) an absolute injunction upon him (i.e., 
who looks upon the light, etc, not Kulhwch). And let 
some serve him with (R..B. from) golden (or gilded) horns 

till food and drink be plentiful (R.B. ready) for 

him ". 

2Óo The " Mabinogion ". 


Of several other important corrections, I shall confine 
mjself to two or three only. 

Or tu draw y uor terwyn (R.B. 110, 12-13) "from across 
the raging sea " (185, 17-18). Very improbable, although 
" from across a raging sea " were possible. I suspect (and 
others may have suggested it also, although I have not 
seen it published) that mor terioyn represents mare 
TyrrJíënum, and that the phrase means "from beyond the 
T. Sea ". 

Bronllech rud a oed yndaw (R.B. 111, 10-11). The ren- 
dering " he had a red breast-plate " (187, 1) is not only 
impossible, but meaningless. Yndaw "in him " makes it 
clear that, whatever it is, it is not " a red breast-plate ". 
O. Ir. brollach "breast, bosom " is cognate with bronllech, 
perhaps borrowed from it, so that we can provisional]} r 
interpret the word as "bosom". Bronllech rud(d) " red 
bosom ", may have been a term for some disease lilce 
diabetes ; this would accord very well with his drinhing 

hyt bei rwyf dec erydyr (W.B. aradyr) ar hugeint yndi 
(E.B. 111, 12-13). This is translated "if there were the 
haiwests of thirty ploughs therein " (187, 3), and foot- 
note 89 adinits that there is no authority for Lady Guest's 
rendition "haiwest", and proceeds thus : " The word 
' rhwyf ' has three meanings — ' ruler ', ' need ', ' oar ', all 
meaningless in the context. What follows justifies the 
use of 'haiwest'". The one meaning that misrht suit 
here, is untnown to the translators, namely " course, 
career, etc. ". There are plenty of instances of its em- 
ployment in this sense in the poetry, and it may be sug- 
gested that "the course of thirty ploughs " might imply 
the extent of the barn, just as well as the pure guess 
" harvests " does. 

merch hynuelyn heudawt (W.B. heudawc) pwyll hanner 

The " Mabinooion ". 261 


dyn (E.B. 112, 5-6) is thus rendered (188, 11-12), "the 
daughter of Cynfelyn, the guardian of Pwyll, the half- 
man ". How came it that the translators mistook Jceudawt 
"mind, thought" for heidwat "guardian"? Even the 
W.B. Jceudawc might mean " minded ", and their render- 
ing is very far reinoved from the correct one which would 
be something approaching " the daughter of Cynfelyn, 
with the wit of a half-man ". 

l-eudawt pioyll [lit. " (the) mind of (the) wit "] Jianner 
dyn is most certainly descriptive of Cynfelyn, not hanner 
dyn of an imaginary Pwyll. 

ÍTo one can regret more than the writer of this review, 
the necessity for these seemingly ruthless emendations. 
No one would have welcomed an approximately correct 
translation more than he, and at the same time greeted 
new recruits to the fìeld of Welsh research. Welsh 
scholars are not "dos:s in the manger" who resent the 
arrival of additional collaborators in their work ; rather 
are they fully aware of the immensity of the tasks which 
remain still to be done, and are glad of any addition to 
their number. New-comers to the field, however, must 
have this amount of regard for the treasures of their 
ancient literature, that they shall approach their elucida- 
tion with tiie cautious mind of scientific scholars, not 
with the precipitate recklessness of amateurs, however 

Editorial Note. 

Having regard to the nature of the critical observa- 
tions contained in the foregoing paper, and being aware 
that some time must necessarily elapse before they can be 
answered in another Cymmrodor, the Editor thought fit 
to submit a proof of the paper to the authors of the volume 

2 6 2 The " Mabinogion ' ' . 

imder review. We insert at this point the answer supplied 
by the joint translators, Mr. T. P. Ellis and Mr. John 
Lloyd, not with the view of promoting disputation but in 
order to encourage learning. — V.E. 


The Editor has very kindly sent us an advance copy of 
the above " review and criticism ", asking us to make any 
observations on it we think proper, so that they may be 
included in the same number. 

To reply to Professor Lloyd Jones in detail is mani- 
festly impossible for want of time and space. Moreover, 
a reply is made more difficult by the fact that the article is 
neither a " review " nor a " criticism ". It is merely a 
medley of somewhat minute suggestions of change, the 
great majority of which leave us quite unimpressed. 

Professor Lloyd Jones suffers from the delusion that 
in translating, our object was to furnish the philological 
expert with a " literal crib ". Our purpose was something 
quite different : we aimed at furnishing the ordinary 
public, and the scholastic public (children and teachers) 
with a more accurate presentation of the Welsh classic 
than any at present available. When we referred to 
the " scholarly public " we did not identify it with the 
' philological experts ", but with that vast field interested 
in literature, folk-lore, mediaeval manners and the like, 
which can fairly claim to be " scholarly ". Consequently, 
as we explained, we attempted to balance, with due regard 
to the text and the English language, a literal translation 
with a literary one. 

Professor Lloyd Jones in his " critique " illustrates the 
difference of outlook. His suggestion that the passage 
on p. 70 (R.B. 42, 7-9) should read " It was not more 

The " Mabino°ion r '. 26 


uwpleasant than that one saw by the other that it was 
that timc than when they came there ", may, in his 
view, furnish a literal rendering. For the honour of the 
Mabinogion, we beg leave to differ profoundly on the 
point : but in any case Professor Lloyd Jones' suggestion 
is neither literary nor intelligible English. We suggest 
that the " amateur ' rendering is both, and, moreover, 
agrees with the text. The same applies to a number of 
his other suggestions in varying degrees. We may add 
that in practically every case we have behind us definite 
expert authority for our renderings. 

Professor Lloyd Jones admits that a translation which 
will satisfy everyone is impossible. We are aware that 
there are as many possible renditions of difficult passages 
as there are " philological experts " ; in fact more, for the 
philological expert is constantly changing his own views. 
We have been content to follow, in cases of difficulty, that 
rendering which appears to us most consonant with the 
original text. 

In his last paragraph, Professor Tjloyd Jones states that 
the professional experts are not " dogs in the manger ". 
At no time have we ever hinted or said so ; the suggestion 
is Professor Lloyd Jones' own. Our experience, however, 
is that any request for advice or help from philologists is 
generally ignored, and we will leave it at that. 

We are quite content also to leave our translation, 
together with such defects as we admit it may have, to 
future judgment, when possibly a little more generosity 
of outlook and fairness may be observable than to-day. 
We have given such services as we were able to give freely 
and without reward ; we are in no way perturbed by the 
onslaughts of the " experts ", who indulge in similar 
attacks, one upon the other, whenever they happen to 
disagree. We recognise that a good deal of what the 

264 The " Mabinogion ". 

' expert ' ' writes is not intended to be taken seriously ; it 
is a mere mannerism unfortunately seemingly inseparable 
from philological pursuits. 

T. P. Ellis. 


&§t íatt §bix Jfo^n (THom^Jfonetf, 

(m.(*i., ää.©., ®.Ä«t 

By Professor J. LLOYD-JONES, M.A., Dublin. 

When the Cymmrodorion Medal was awarded to Sir 
Owen Morgan Edwards, Sir John Morris-Jones, and 
other eminent Welshmen, the Editor of the Cymmrodor 
prefaced his biographical notes upon the former with the 
words " in recognition of distinguished services to Wales 
as a devoted patriot, an inspired writer, and an en- 
lightened teacher " ; and upon the latter, " in recognition 
of distinguished services to Wales, in particular by the 
production of his Welsh Grammar, his contributions to 
Celtic Scholarship, and his unswerving devotion to the 
Eisteddfod, the Language, and the People of his Native 
Land " (Transactions of the Hon. Soc. of Cymmrodorion, 

No country in the world has been served more faith- 
fully and loyally than was Wales by the two distinguished 
scholars who were simultaneously honoured by the 
Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , and among the 
illustrious Welshmen whose services have been thus 
recognized by the Society, none merited the distinction 
more than these two whom one's mind links instinctively 
together in appraising the progress of Welsh Literature 
during the last fifty years. To the one the honour was 
posthumous — death had claimed hini in May, 19-20,— 
and now we mourn the loss of the other. Friends from 
their Oxford years, they vied with each other in their 


2 66 The late Sir John Morrisjones. 

indefatigable and unremitting endeavours on behalf of 
their country's literary culture, the one by ministering 
to the nation's need of worthy periodicals and popular 
editions of its classics, and the other by jealously guard- 
ing the best traditions of its prose and its poetry, 
especially the latter, in purity of form and diction. 

Without eliminating other factors which might ulti- 
mately have influenced our literature and assisted in its 
salvation, one wonders often what its fate would have 
been if those seven patriotic Welsh students had not fore- 
gathered around the late Sir John Ehys and founded 
the Dafvdd ap Gwilym Society — " Y Dafydd " as it is 
affectionately known to its members and their friends — 
on the 6th of May, 1886. The vision of Owen Edwards 
and the zeal of John Morris-Jones could not possibly 
have been lost to Wales, but certain is it that the 
passionate love of their country's literature which found 
its expression in the establishment of the Society and 
its epitome in its name, was intensified and largely 
directed by the activities and the deliberations of its 

One of Sir John Morris-Jones' claims to his country's 
gratitude is that he, more than anyone else, laboured for 
the redemption of the orthography of its language from 
its chaotic state since the completion of Dr. William 
Owen Pughe's Dictionary in 1803. Pughe's fallacies, it 
is true, did not prevail throughout the century, but 
although several attempts had been made to establish 
uniformity, the evils which his idiosyncrasies and fan- 
tastic theories concerning linguistic development had 
engendered, had persisted in the instability which char- 
acterised Welsh spelling even after three-quarters of a 
century had elapsed. The genius of Sir John Morris- 
Jones could not have failed ultimately to exert itself on 

The late Sir John Morris-Jones. 267 

its behalf , but it was afforded its unique opportunity when 
the Dafydd ap Gwilym Society discussed the matter in 
the spring of 1888, and without disparaging one whit 
the contributions of the other members to the solution of 
the various problems at issue, it may be confidently 
assumed that they were guided by his unerring instinct 
for beauty and correctness of form. Although Owen 
Edwards embodied the new rules in his books and 
periodicals, it was John Morris-Jones' pen that indited 
them for the Press. It was he that elucidated them by 
his able articles, and became the Secretary of the Ortho- 
graphical Committee of the Society for Utilizing the 
Welsh Language which published its Report in 1893, 
and when, nearly thirty-five years after, the University 
of Wales Board of Celtic Studies requested its Literature 
Committee to prepare a new Report on Welsh Ortho- 
graphy, it was but natural that he who had for forty years 
been recognised as its chief authority, should become the 
Chairman of this new Committee. The major burden 
in the preparation of this new Report was again under- 
taken by the Chairman, despite the incipient menace 
and shadow of his last illness, and all the other members 
of the Committee will readily accord him the greater 
portion of any meed of praise which its published Report 
may deserve. 

In association always with a feeling for the beauty 
of the written word, but far transcending it in import, 
goes a passion for accurate diction, and no Welshman 
ever evinced this more intensely than Sir John Morris- 
Jones. In him it amounted almost to an obsession. This 
was not a product of his Oxford days, although it received 
its nurture there, because his love of his country's litera- 
ture, of which this was but an expression, had already 
been fostered at his home in Llanfair. In the brief sketch 

2 68 T/ie late Sir John Morris-Jones. 

of his career which was written at the Editor's request 
and published in the volume of the Transactions already 
mentioned, we are informed that during a year's enforced 
absence from school consequent upon his father's death 
on Christmas Day, 1879, he spent the time at home 
helping his mother and reading, along with other things, 
Taìhaiarn, Ceiriog, and Gorchestion Beirdd Cymru. He 
was then but fifteen years old, and the mere fact of a 
boy of that age reading the Gorchestion, and evidently 
enjoying the poems, for otherwise he would not have read 
them, betokened not only an affection for the literature 
but an innate capacity of comprehension. This boyhood 
acquaintance with the Gorchestion was the early mani- 
festation of a life-long love of the poetry of the Cyicydd 
period from Dafydd ap Gwilym to Wiliam Llŷn. It is 
true that while he was a student at Oxford, under 
Ehys' influence and guidance, he copied Lìyfr Ancr 
Llanddewifrefi, which was published in 1894 and was 
followed in 1898 by a new edition of Y Bardd Cicsc, and 
that these contained for the first time exhaustive intro- 
ductions and textual notes. Nevertheless, it was the 
poetry of the Gywyddwyr that claimed his heart and his 
mind, and if Goronwy Owen had a goodly share in them, 
it was not only because he was a poet of Anglesey, but 
because he revived the traditions of the poetry of earlier 
centuries. In this poetry he found his inspiration and 
his standards, and its diction furnished the criteria by 
which correct idiom should be judged. One need but 
glance at his Weìsh Grammar to see how extensively he 
had gleaned his instances from it. It may be that the 
standards which he adopted were too static for prose, but 
there is no gainsaying the tremendous eífect which his 
insistence upon them had upon the writers of Modern 
Welsh prose and poetry. 

The late Sir John Moms-Jones. 269 

He possessed the sure instincts of a born grammarian, 
the greatest grammarian perhaps that Wales has ever 
seen, and in his methods he stood in the direct lineage 
of Dr. Griffith Eoberts, Milan, and Dr. John Davies, 
Mallwyd. In the Preface to his Welsh Grammar, he wrote 
of the latter's grammar which was published in 1621 : 
" The grammar represents the result of a careful study 
of the works of the bards ' ' , words that would serve very 
aptly to describe his own Grammar, of all his works the 
dearest to his heart and the one in which he took the 
greatest pride. In its original form, it seems that the 
Accidence had been completed and the Syntax more than 
half written by 1907. This was the second draft, and 
represented nearly seven years' work, irrespective of 
other years of garnering materials. Why, one wonders, 
was not the effort made to finish the Syntax, and the 
whole published in its original form? I was a student of 
Sir John Ehys and Dr. (afterwards Sir) Joseph Wright 
at the time, and the latter, during one of my periodical 
visits to his house for his supervision of my work, referred 
to the Welsh Grammar as though it had been submitted 
for publication in the Series of Grammars which he was 
contemplating, but that he had found it far too voluminous 
and comprehensive for inclusion in the Series. If one 
can judge the size of the original work by that of the 
Wclsh Grammar published in 1913, and if one com- 
pares this with the Grammar 0/ Old English and the 
Grammar oj the Gothic Languagc, Wright's reluctance 
becomes easily intelligible. But what a misfortune ! If 
it had been found possible to issue the Grammar then, we 
should have had by its greatest master a work 011 the 
Syntax of the Welsh Language. His own account of 
what happened afterwards is most illuminating : ' I 
found myself ", he says in the Preface already mentioned, 

270 The late Sìr John Morris-Jones. 

' ' in the Syntax quoting more and more from Mediaeval 
prose. At last I was forced to the conclusion that the 
Mediseval period would have to be dealt with in the earlier 

portion In recasting the first portion I thought 

it would be well to bring together the laws by which 
Welsh sounds are derived from Keltic and Primitive 

Aryan " I cannot help thinking that Wright was 

partly responsible for this conversion of a descriptẁe 
Grammar of Welsh into a Welsh Grammar Historical 
and Comparative, but it must not be forgotten that in 
1908 appeared the first volume of Pedersen's Vergleich- 
ende Grammatih der ceìtischen Sprachen, and in 1909 
Thurneysen's Handbuch des Aìt-Irischen, and it were 
perhaps better to believe that all three contributed to the 
change. At all events it is quite evident that the increase 
in size of the first portion, now termed Phonology and 
Accidenee, and the additional labour of collecting, in- 
venting and arranging the derivations, deprived us of the 
second portion altogether. 

A great grammarian as Sir John was, it may be said 
without prejudicing the value of the Welsh Grammar, 
that he was not a great philologist. Like his teacher, 
Sir John Ehj^s, he was inclined to be too venturesome in 
many of the new derivations that he propounded. It has 
been frequently stated that he had the mathematical 
mind, and just as 1 + 6 or 2 + 5 or 3 + 4 = 7, so he con- 
ceived Welsh words sometimes to be explicable by such 
permutations. Andaw was by metathesis from *adnaw 
(regardless of its obvious connection with taw, tewi) ; 
andwyo from *adnwyo (despite its apparent relation to 
mor-dwyo, cynor-thwyo) ; and dedwydd from *do-tuiios 
(instead of a reasonable development from *do-ate-uid-). 
Brilliant, undoubtedly, but not philologically sound. 
Heaven forbid that I should appear to decry all the new 

The late Sir John Morris-Jones. 271 

origins offered in the Welsh Grammar, only to say simpiy 
and with regret that by expending time and space upon 
these new extractions, the greatest master, teacher and 
exponent óf Welsh Syntax was prevented from giving to 
Celtic scholars what he alone was qualified to give. The 
greater part of the philological element colìected in the 
Grammar is assuredly valuable and above suspicion, and 
what is more, the vast number of instances of forms, and 
quotations, from poetry and prose will continue to make 
it indispensable to the stadent of Welsh Grammar. 

As I have already stated, Sir John's soul found its 
greatest delight in Welsh poetry, in particular Cerdd 
Dafod or alliterative poetry in the strict metres, and when 
the history of the Welsh Literature of this century comes 
to be written, his name will be outstanding as that of 
the greatest influence in the renascence of romantic 
poetry at its beginning. It would be superfluous here to 
describe the state of Welsh poetry, especially strict metre 
poetry when he. from innate love and through the 
influence of the literary character of the topics of the 
Dafydd ap Gwilym Society, began to interest himself 
for its weal. Suffice it to say that it had reached its 
lowest ebb. The traditions of the golden age of cyngìiant <Ì<1 
poetry and the twenty-four metres had been, if not for- 
gotten, at least neglected, and poetry had been for a long 
time in thrall to the tyranny of uncultured critics and 
the barrenness of Eisteddfodic themes. The glory of the 
ancient cywyddau and the artistry of the old bards had 
vanished and Welsh bardism had losl its pristine beauty 
and romance. John Morris-Jones set out to master the 
principles of Welsh versification as practised by Dafydd 
ap Gwilym and his successors and expounded in the old 
bardic grammars, and his mastery of them was evidenced 
in his Awdl Cymru Fu Cymru Fydd which appeared in 

272 The late Sir John Morris-Jones. 

Cymru, August 1892. This represented the beginning of 
a new spirit in Welsh poetry, the creation of a new 
romantic movement which found its first great expression 
in 1902, in T. Gwynn-Jones' Ymadawiad Ärthur, the 
precursor of a series of Eisteddfodic odes of exquisite 
imagery and beauty. 

At the same time as he was training himself to become 
a master of the rules of strict metre poetry, he was also 
learning the secrets of the lyric's charm and grace. The 
first-fruits of this were his translations from Heine which 
appeared in Cymru Fydd and Cymru from 1890 onwards, 
and from them emanated that lyrical harvest which 
blossomed forth in the telynegion of W. J. Gruífydd, R. 
Silyn Roberts, Eifion Wyn, R. Williams Parry and 
Wil Ifan, to name but a few of its many exponents. 

John Morris-Jones may not himself have been a 
superlative poet, although some of his lyrics are perfect 
gems of their kind. The unique distinction of his own 
original poetry and his translations, as exemplified in his 
beautiful rendering of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyâm, 
was their perfection of form. They are masterpieces of 
artistic symmetry, betokening not so much the glowing 
passion of great poetic genius as the infinite care of a born 
grammarian who loved poetry for its beauty of workman- 
ship and grandeur of language. But if he was not himself 
a creator of great poetry, he was the indirect instrument 
of its creation, and we are indebted to him, more than to 
anyone else, for having by precept and example initiated 
a new era of great poetic brilliance. 

He excelled in his lmowledge of the principles of 
strict versification, a knowledge which he imparted in 
several ways. In the Zeitschrift für Ceìtische Philoiogie 
(1901) appeared his Welsh V 'ersification ; in the Trans- 
actions of the Hon. Soc. of Cymmrodorion (1908-9) was 

The late Sir John Morris-Jones. 27 


printed his paper on Tudur Aled as one of the greatest of 
cynghanedd poets ; and in 1925 was published his Cerdd 
Dafod which may be regarded as the final statement of 
the rules of cynghanedd and the analysis of the twenty- 
four metres. A future student may combat his theories 
upon their development, but none will ever deny their 
brilliance. Exposition of the rules of cynghanedd was 
also one of the features of his lectures in the College at 
Bangor, and it may be truly said that no bardic teacher 
ever had so many disciples as the hundreds of students 
that learnt the rudiments of cynghanedd at his feet. Will 
they ever forget the joy and the abandon with which he 
recited his favourite lines and couplets ? By the majority 
of his countrymen, however, he will be remembered as 
the deliverer par exceUence of the adjudication of the odes 
in the Chair competition of the National Eisteddfod. It 
was not because his voice was resonant or melodious that 
he enchanted the thousands, but because it possessed some 
indefinable charm of intonation, amounting almost to 
mellifluence, that proclaimed its owner to be a thorough 
master of poetic diction and an ardent lover of alliterative 

From the Eisteddfod at Llandudno in 1896 onwards, 
he served as chief adjudicator of the Chair odes at some 
eighteen National Eisteddfodau, and the standards of 
criticism which he had learnt from the old poetry and had 
already set in his own compositions, became a guarantee 
of the permanent poetic value of the successful ode. I do 
not suppose that he ever set any store by the " winning ' 
of the Chair, but as the guardian of his country's poetry 
and inasmuch as the Eisteddfod competition was a natural 
outlet for its genius, he gave to the national festival 
unstinted and invaluable service. 

His genuine affection for the ancient glory of Welsh 


274 The late Sir John Morris-Jones. 

poetry made him rightly jealous of its honour and genuine- 
ness. This led him in the first instance to attack merci- 
lessly the claims of the Gorsedd in a series of articles in 
Cymru 1896. It was not the Gorsedd per se that incurred 
his wrath but its spurious claims, the extreme futility of 
which can best be gathered from the fatuity of Morien's 
replies in the same volume of that periodical . It was this 
very love, too, that made him champion the genuineness 
of the historical poems of Taliesin and the other ancient 
bards in Vol. XXVIII of the Cymmrodor, and Welsh 
scholars will be for ever grateful that an impugnment of 
their genuineness evoked a reply that contained, not alone 
a wealth of information, but so much valuable guidance 
for subsequent elucidation of their linguistic difnculties. 
The arguments advanced in Taìiesin are final and irrefut- 
able, and the volume constitutes one of its author's chief 
contributions to the study of Old Welsh. 

I have written of Sir John Morris-Jones' services to 
Wales and its literature, not of him as a man and a friend. 
It were possible to devote pages to describe his artistic 
and mechanical skill, his simple character and unsophisti- 
cated nature, and of his kind hospitality, for in his home 
at Llanfair, Lady Morris-Jones and he preserved the best 
traditions of true Welsh culture, and in the genuine 
Welsh atmosphere of that home-life he was the perfect 
gicr bonheddig Cymreig. 

My own indebtedness to him as my teacher and mentor 
cannot be set down in words. Well I remember my first 
interview with him in registering as a student in the old 
College at Bangor, how I was filled with admiration for 
one whom I had already learnt to respect even in my boy- 
hood days. This admiration became intensified with the 
passing of years, and I recollect the pride which I felt on 
being invited by Sir John Rhys to lunch at the Principal's 

The late Sir John Morris-Jones. 275 

Lodgings in Jesus College and meet my old Professor and 
Sir Henry Jones. What joy it was to listen afterwards to 
their conversation upstairs in the library ! And twenty 
years later in the spring of 1927, when the National 
University of Ireland conferred upon him the honorary 
degree of D.Litt. Celt. , I took a personal pride in the 
honour which he had so well merited. 

In the death of Sir John Morris-Jones, Welsh scholar- 
ship has lost its pre-eminent figure, Welsh liíerature its 
supreme champion, and Welsh culture its paramount 

Llaw Dduw a fu'n lladd awen, 
Lladd enaid holl ddwned hen ! 
Saer nid oes, eisiau'r un dyn, 

Ar goed awdl na'r gwawdodyn 

Bwrw brawdwr y gerddwriaeth, 
Beth a ŵyr neb eithr a wnaeth ? 


DA y Cymmrodor